You know man I was feeling really bummed out today. Getting to this movie so late made me not even want to get out of bed today, I just wanted to give up and move on. Now, I remember why I do this.
Creed II tops the first easily. It is a powerhouse of a movie, there's no need for setup of the threat to the fight because it's already there in the history of the Rocky series. There's a lot to love, and I know for a fact these Creed movies and really the Rocky movies past number two are made for Rocky fans. Not just for the callbacks or similar stories but because of the growth of these characters and seeing where they go since the last movie. So Adonis Creed just got the Heavyweight Champion belt, and through the workings of a semi-shady backer pits the son of Ivan Drago against the son of Apollo Creed forcing our young champion to come to face with why he wants to fight and more importantly why he wants to win. I think I severely messed up if I ever labelled any Rocky movie as a sports movie, sure the fight is the driving force for our main character but the characters themselves is why it works so well. We know their motivations, history, and emotions, which is what keeps us invested and cheering for them. The movie understands this perfectly and it feels right in the series. Now Rocky IV was a bit out there I'll grant you that, but it's amazing how much they pulled off this story despite the 80s influence. Adonis follows in his father's footsteps, he has his strongheaded attitude, the compulsory urge to prove he's worthy of that belt, the pride in his family name is what keeps him going. And you can feel what Rocky is going through cause he doesn't want to lose this kid like he did his dad, so it builds up so much from the previous films. It does make me wonder how they can cap this off, cause with the Rocky movies every movie raised the stakes a bit higher. The first movie Rocky just wants to go the distance and prove his mettle, second movie Apollo lets his pride get the better of him and fights Rocky for the championship, then the threat is escalated by a tough loud mouthed son of a mother Clubber Lang who challenges for the title, then Jesus Christ Rocky has to go up against the russian superman an almost impossible task that pushes him to the limit. So every movie builds on the characters, and the stakes, and I'm gonna say it right now I do not know how they are going to top Viktor Drago. The dude is a mountain, and the fact we get further character interactions between previous combatants with Ivan and Rocky brings so much to the table. Now I get to fanboy the hell out over my man, Dolph Lundgren. Sweet Christmas is it wonderful seeing him again and they do so much good development for him, and he still has that intimidation and power from the last movie. And truthfully if I went to Philadelphia, ran up the art museum steps, and ffffflipin' Dolph Lundgren was at the top of those stairs I would not be able to count the bricks I would shat. You just never see that, and it is awesome! The whole movie is awesome, go see it! Without a doubt one of my top 10 films of the year. I seriously cannot wait for Creed III, I am ready for that next story and challenge.