GRAPHIC BY CHRISTINA QUACH
BY ALEXANDER CASTRO
Creed II has finally been released, and it came in swinging.
The movie follows Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) as he faces off with Victor Drago (Florian Munteanu), the son of the man who killed his father. Challenging Adonis to a boxing match, Victor forces Adonis to take a look at himself and what drives him to keep fighting.
Featuring an all-star cast, Creed II genuinely portrays the heartache, longing and exploration of Adonis as he finishes the Apollo-Drago blood feud.
Creed II features a long line of stars including many cameos from the Rocky film franchise. These cameos help the Creed movies tie into the Rocky storyline as well as attract audience members who have never watched Creed. Viewers are welcomed by a variety of familiar faces including the original Rocky Balboa, Ivan Drago and his ex-wife Ludmilla Drago.
Furthermore, by keeping the Creed and Rocky plots closely entwined yet distinguishable, the film creates a unique perspective that is beginning to be more prevalent in upcoming movies. We are beginning to see the end of classic films as the stories finally begin to move on. For example Cars, or Toy Story. The movie symbolizes the passing of the torch has Rocky continues to impart knowledge to the newest generation. All of the emotional loose ends are being tied up and the weathered characters are moving on with their lives.
Furthermore, by using breathtaking scenery and sets, Creed II displays skillful camera work and proficient location managing. The locations where the movie was filmed drew the attention of the viewer and leave them in awe. Certain aspects of the movie pay a tribute to the films that laid the foundations of the movie. For example, when Adonis needs to train, Rocky takes him to a remote camp very reminiscent of the camp seen in Rocky VI.
Moreover, the talented cast effectively portrays the strong emotions seen in the film. The movie tackles topics like purpose, revenge and legacies.
In a world where lives seem to fly past in the blink of an eye, the lesson of legacies resonates strongly with the viewers. The movie teaches that one’s life goals should not be dedicated to the accomplishments of someone else’s goals. In the movie, Adonis was motivated by his desire to make his father proud. He wanted nothing more than to become a boxer that his father, Apollo Creed, would be proud of. Through his trials, Adonis learns that he should focus on maintaining his own life instead of becoming the best boxer in the world. Throughout the film, Adonis is attempting to prove his father right, and to pursue the exceedingly high expectations that the Creed name was held to
Another powerful lesson is to stay true to yourself. Adonis was afraid not of Victor but of losing. He was intimidated by the high expectations he was held to. He struggles to break free from his father’s shadow. In the end, staying true to who he was what led him to victory.
Similarly, what makes the film powerful was the strong message that you have to have the right reason fight. Similar boxing movies of the century highlight the importance of having the strength to pick yourself up after you are defeated. However, Creed II asks the all-important question “what are you fighting for?”
Additionally, this rollercoaster of emotions is highly entertaining, containing thrilling highs and tearful lows. The stark contrast of emotions draws in the audience, making them want more.
The actors were very serious, almost to a fault and the acting was very intense. It was almost to the point of being overacting and the conflicts dragged effects on for too long. Yet the emotional effects were effective and negated these cons.
In the end, the experienced actors led the film to a tearful triumph. The
fluid camera work combined the quiet nods to the parent franchise were heartwarming and melancholy. Creed II was a knockout movie.