CREED II (12A) Three stars

The Herald on Sunday - Sunday Herald Life - - Culture -

Deep-rooted nos­tal­gia for Rocky fails to de­liver a knock­out blow in the eighth in­stal­ment of the long-run­ning se­ries, which punched well above its weight class in 1977 win­ning three Academy Awards in­clud­ing Best Pic­ture and Best Di­rec­tor.

Co-writ­ten by Sylvester Stal­lone, whose fin­ger­prints are on the scripts to ev­ery bruis­ing bout, Creed II un­leashes the same flurry of emo­tional jabs as its pre­de­ces­sor but th­ese slick moves fail to con­nect squarely in a se­quel that han­kers for the past. Di­rec­tor Steven Caple Jr chore­ographs im­pres­sive sweat-drenched fight se­quences be­tween lead­ing man Michael B Jor­dan and real- life Ger­man boxer Flo­rian Mun­teanu

– a hulk­ing 6ft 4in man-moun­tain with eight-pack abs to match his in­tim­i­dat­ing phys­i­cal pres­ence. Inside the ring, the film is on sure foot­ing and there are fa­mil­iar bursts of adren­a­line for us as well as the char­ac­ters as they dig deep to over­come dizzy­ing blows and achieve glo­ri­ous des­tinies.

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