CREED II (12A)

★★★ ★★

Carmarthen Journal - - Film Reviews -

DEEP-ROOTED nos­tal­gia for Rocky fails to de­liver a knock­out blow in the eighth in­stal­ment of the lon­grun­ning se­ries.

Co-writ­ten by Sylvester Stal­lone, whose fin­ger­prints are on the scripts to every bruis­ing bout in the saga, Creed II un­leashes the same flurry of emo­tional jabs as its brawny pre­de­ces­sor but these slick moves fail to con­nect

squarely in a se­quel that han­kers for the past.

Juel Tay­lor and Stal­lone’s wist­ful script raises its gloves to ear­lier films, most ex­plic­itly Rocky IV, in which Soviet Union brawler Ivan Drago (Dolph Lund­gren) de­liv­ered a fa­tal blow to Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) and then faced Rocky Bal­boa (Stal­lone) on home soil.

More than 30 years af­ter that epic show­down, Drago is liv­ing in ig­nominy in Kiev, haunted by de­feat and the break­down of his mar­riage to Lud­milla (Brigitte Nielsen).

In search of redemp­tion, he trains his only son Vik­tor (real-life Ger­man boxer Flo­rian Mun­teanu), mould­ing his off­spring into a fear­some con­tender for the heavy­weight cham­pi­onship belt in the posses­sion of Rocky’s pro­tégé, Ado­nis Creed (Michael B Jor­dan).

Ado­nis ar­ro­gantly be­lieves he can over­come Drago ju­nior without the back­ing of his men­tor and cor­ner man. He pre­pares to de­fend his ti­tle with fi­ancée Bianca (Tessa Thomp­son) and his mother (Phyli­cia Rashad) in his cor­ner.

Sec­onds out and around the nar­ra­tive houses we go...

Bag men: Ado­nis and Rocky

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