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Creed II review: Don’t expect any knockout punches, says Rashid Irani

Settle in for an exceedingly average story, a total lack of thrills, and far too little of Sylvester Stallone.

movie reviews Updated: Nov 29, 2018 17:39 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
The set piece bouts don’t compare favourably with other fight flicks. The wall-to-wall soundtrack is an earsore. There’s really little to recommend here.
  • Direction: Steven Caple Jr
  • Actors: Michael B Jordan, Sylvester Stallone
  • Rating: 2 / 5

Three years after Creed revitalised the worn-out Rocky franchise comes a sequel so formulaic, it seems almost inexplicable. Director Steven Caple Jr (taking over from the vastly superior Ryan Coogler) fails to replicate either the vibrancy or excitement of the first outing.

In Creed II, young boxer Adonis Creed (Michael B Jordan, reprising his role with comparable charisma) steps back into the ring to face off against a fearsome new foe. The script strives to create a complex emotional dynamic by giving Creed an opponent (Florian Munteanu) who is the son of the prizefighter (Dolph Lundgren) responsible for his father’s death.

The wannabe light-heavyweight champions are haunted by their respective pasts and the earnest desire to honour the legacy of their respective pugilist parents. It’s all very ho-hum.

Once again, Rocky Balboa — unarguably Sylvester Stallone’s most enduring character — is relegated to the background in the role of the curmudgeonly coach.

The training montage sequences as well as the set piece bouts don’t compare favourably with other fight flicks. Worse, the wall-to-wall soundtrack is an earsore.

In the meaty supporting roles of Creed’s wife and widowed mother respectively, Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad are alternately fierce and understated.

Overall, Creed II doesn’t pack a punch.

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 17:37 IST