Creed II

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - CINEMA -

Three years af­ter his loss to “Pretty” Ricky Con­lan, Ado­nis Creed scores a string of vic­to­ries, cul­mi­nat­ing in a vic­tory over Danny “Stunt­man” Wheeler (An­dre Ward) to win the WBC World Heavy­weight Cham­pi­onship. Now a world­wide star, Ado­nis pro­poses to his girl­friend, Bianca Tay­lor, who agrees to marry him. When Bianca sug­gests start­ing a new life to­gether in Los An­ge­les, Ado­nis is re­luc­tant to leave his life be­hind in Philadel­phia.

Mean­while, Ivan Drago, a for­mer Soviet boxer who killed Ado­nis’s fa­ther, Apollo Creed, in the ring thirty-three years ear­lier, sees an op­por­tu­nity to re­gain the glory that was taken from him as a re­sult of his loss to Rocky Bal­boa in Moscow later that same year by pit­ting his son, Vik­tor Drago (with the as­sis­tance of Buddy Mar­celle, a pro­moter who has fol­lowed Vik­tor’s ca­reer closely), against Ado­nis. When Rocky re­fuses to sup­port Ado­nis’s de­ci­sion to ac­cept Vik­tor’s chal­lenge, Ado­nis, feel­ing be­trayed, de­cides to leave for Los An­ge­les.

Ado­nis and Bianca set­tle down in a lux­u­ri­ous apart­ment in Los An­ge­les close to Ado­nis’s adop­tive mother, and Apollo’s widow, Mary Anne. As Ado­nis and Bianca ad­just to their new life on the west coast and pre­pare for the up­com­ing match with Vik­tor, Bianca learns that she is preg­nant. Ado­nis re­cruits Tony “Lit­tle Duke” Evers, son of his fa­ther’s trainer, as Rocky’s re­place­ment. Over­whelmed with all the re­cent de­vel­op­ments in his life, Ado­nis rushes into the match, get­ting him­self badly in­jured. While Vik­tor is dis­qual­i­fied for hit­ting Ado­nis while he is down, al­low­ing Ado­nis to re­tain the World Heavy­weight Cham­pi­onship, he be­comes ex­tremely pop­u­lar in Rus­sia and wins a se­ries of fights given top billing.

His body and ego shat­tered, Ado­nis be­comes in­creas­ingly dis­con­nected from Bianca. Mary Anne reaches out to Rocky in hopes of hav­ing him come to help Ado­nis out of his slump; Rocky ar­rives, he and Ado­nis make up, and Rocky agrees to train Ado­nis prop­erly for a re­match against Vik­tor, who is suf­fer­ing near-tor­tur­ous lev­els of phys­i­cal tests by his fa­ther. At a State Din­ner, he and Ivan meet Lud­milla, his mother, and ex-wife, for the first time sev­eral years af­ter she aban­doned both of them af­ter the loss to Bal­boa. Bianca gives birth to a baby girl, and they name her Amara. Ado­nis and Bianca’s fears are re­al­ized when their child is born deaf, in­her­ited from her mother’s pro­gres­sive de­gen­er­a­tive hear­ing dis­or­der.

While Vik­tor con­tin­ues to taunt Ado­nis pub­licly, he is con­stantly pres­sured by his fa­ther to re­gain their honor. Rocky takes Ado­nis to a de­crepit lo­ca­tion in the Cal­i­for­nia desert to re­train, de­scrib­ing it as a place where fight­ers are “re­born.” Ado­nis un­der­goes a rig­or­ous and bru­tal train­ing reg­i­men with Rocky, fo­cus­ing on fight­ing from the in­side and train­ing his body to re­peat­edly ab­sorb the heavy im­pact he knows he’ll re­ceive from Vik­tor in the ring.

The re­match in Moscow is con­sid­er­ably more balanced as a more con­trolled and fo­cused Ado­nis ex­changes equal blows with Vik­tor. Since Vik­tor is ac­cus­tomed to win­ning all of his fights by knock­out, his fights have never lasted be­yond the fourth round, some­thing that Ado­nis uses to his ad­van­tage as he en­dures Vik­tor’s pun­ish­ment deeper into the match, even af­ter his ribs break again. In the tenth round af­ter be­ing knocked down again, Ado­nis un­leashes a fu­ri­ous rage, man­ag­ing to land se­quence af­ter se­quence of ef­fec­tive blows, knock­ing Vik­tor down twice. Vik­tor’s mother Lud­milla, who had been sit­ting ring­side with some of Vik­tor’s sup­port­ers, de­parts when the tide of the fight shifts in Ado­nis’ fa­vor, knock­ing Vik­tor off-bal­ance emo­tion­ally. Ivan notes this as well, com­ing to terms with ear­lier state­ments made by Vik­tor re­gard­ing the fair-weath­ered na­ture of the same sup­port­ers who had run Ivan out of Rus­sia. With Vik­tor cor­nered and re­ceiv­ing mul­ti­ple strikes with­out re­turn­ing any blows, Rocky watches in amaze­ment as Ivan makes his way to where his son is cor­nered. Ivan throws in the towel, con­ced­ing the fight to Ado­nis to en­sure his son isn’t se­ri­ously in­jured or killed. Though Vik­tor is ashamed, Ivan as­sures Vik­tor it is okay that he lost, and em­braces him. As Bianca en­ters the ring to cel­e­brate with Ado­nis, Rocky re­cuses him­self from join­ing them. Telling Ado­nis that it is “his time”, he takes a seat and watches them from out­side the ring.

Vik­tor and Ivan are later train­ing to­gether back in Ukraine. Rocky trav­els to Van­cou­ver to make peace with his own es­tranged son, Robert, and meets his grand­son Lo­gan for the first time, not­ing how much he looks like Adrian. Ado­nis vis­its Apollo’s grave where he makes peace with his de­ceased fa­ther and the bur­den of car­ry­ing on his legacy, as he and Bianca in­tro­duce him to his grand­daugh­ter, who is sport­ing new hear­ing aids.

Clas­si­fi­ca­tion: 12A

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