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Creed II (2018) (1 Viewer)

Adam Lenhardt

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New featurette ("Introducing Viktor Drago"):

So apparently the final WGA-arbitrated writing credits are: "Story by Sascha Penn and Cheo Hodari Coker, Screenplay by Juel Taylor and Sylvester Stallone". From what I understand, Penn wrote the initial treatment, Stallone & Coker wrote the screenplay, and then Taylor did a polish when Steven Caple Jr. came aboard.
 

Jeff Adkins

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I saw this tonight and was pleasantly surprised. I liked it much more than I expected to. While it follows the typical Rocky formula, there's enough side-story to keep things interesting and fun. It does drag a bit during the middle of the film, but overall a good time.
 

Tommy R

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This made me realize It's been a while (outside of Star Wars, of course) since a series has opted for the Roman numeral instead of the digit to designate its number. I guess it makes sense since Rocky did. I just haven't seen it in a while.
The Saw sequels used Roman numerals through VI, one longer than when Rocky ditched the numerals. Also Saw hit the 8th entry last year, featuring Tobin Bell for the 8th time, so him and Rocky are tied now! I'd love to see a show down between Stallone and Jigsaw. "Hello, Sylvester, I want to play a game. It's called: I tawt I taw a puddy-tat."
 

Jeff Adkins

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How much do you need to know about the previous films to understand it?
I don't know that it's really necessary. I had seen the previous Creed film, but didn't really remember much about it except that I liked it. If you've ever seen Rocky IV, that's probably the one that's referenced the most. If you haven't seen it, a brief skim through the Wikipedia entry for it would be enough.
 

Tino

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I thought it was a pretty entertaining typical boxing sequel.

Grounded by the great Stallone as Rocky Balboa. He just adds gravitas to every scene he is in. Jordan is great as always.

Even Dolph Lundgren and his son have a nice character arc and aren’t just generic characters.

Not as good as the first but close enough.
 

Jake Lipson

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I saw an afternoon screening today with only three other people in attendance in the whole theater.

I saw the first Creed and love that, but for some reason or other haven't yet gone back to watch any of the actual Rocky films. However, I had no trouble understanding this one, since I knew how Apollo died in Rocky IV.

I would rate the first Creed as an A+. This one is an A-/B+ range, which is way better than I expected given Ryan Coogler's absence. It felt a little more predictable and perhaps a little more generic, but it was still very good, extremely investible and exciting to watch, and the character work with Andonis and Bianca was great.

The only real surprise to me was
essentially dropping Rocky's cancer storyline from the first one by having that issue be resolved in the time jump between films. Considering how much the first film set that up, I thought it might have been interesting to see him actually fight cancer during this film, which they could have done by making the time jump less substantial. But what they actually did with him in this film in regards to his feelings about the fight was good too, so I can't complain too much.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed it, and I also felt that it brought the characters to a place where I would be perfectly happy for the series to end here. It probably won't, because its successful opening will ensure MGM wants another one. But from a story perspective, this one built on the first one in a successful way and they work together nicely as one story which reaches a satisfactory conclusion with finality. So while I would probably see another one if they do it, I also feel like they might run the risk of diminishing creative returns going forward when this one ends it on such a great note. We'll see what happens.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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This was a standard issue Rocky movie in a lot of ways, with the formula just mapped onto Adonis instead.

One of the pleasant surprises is the journey Ivan Drago goes on over the course of the film. In Rocky IV, Drago is much more of a thing than a character but Dolph Lundgren gets a lot more to do here.

The stuff with Adonis and Bianca's baby was really affecting. One of Sylvester Stallone's sons is severely autistic, so he knows something about what it's like to have a child that is not alright. But wisely, the script doesn't push those parallels too hard, since the nature and ramifications of this baby's challenges are very different.

But from a story perspective, this one built on the first one in a successful way and they work together nicely as one story which reaches a satisfactory conclusion with finality. So while I would probably see another one if they do it, I also feel like they might run the risk of diminishing creative returns going forward when this one ends it on such a great note. We'll see what happens.
I agree. This would be a good place to end things. I was really glad that:
they got Milo Ventimiglia back, reprising his role as Rocky's son Robert from Rocky Balboa.
 

Race Bannon

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Saw it today and loved it. I'm having trouble breathing when I read these posts about not having seen the previous Rocky films.

Rocky is like a giant heroic battle that has played out over my whole life. I saw the first one at age 7 in the theater, so each of them since, and now enjoy them with my own children with a completely updated vibe, but the same heart.
 

Jake Lipson

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Saw it today and loved it. I'm having trouble breathing when I read these posts about not having seen the previous Rocky films.

[sidebar]

I am 30. Therefore, the original run of films predated me. Also, I don't like sports at all, so while I don't object to sports movies and will watch them if they're good, they're also not something I would seek out as my first choice genre. In the case of Rocky, I know (especially after Creed) that I should track down the other films, but they're not streaming on Netflix or free-with-Prime (I looked), and I don't really want to blind purchase them. I could record them off the TV and watch them that way, and have been tempted to do so a couple times, but since I've never noticed them air on TCM, if I did it that way I'd end up seeing pan and scan versions cropped for TV. So, that's my long-winded excuse as to why I haven't run across them yet.

[/sidebar]

We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion of Creed II.
 

mattCR

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Ok. I thought this was pretty terrible, actually. I couldn't figure out why any of these things would happen.. and when they did, it seemed to really harm the characters.

I can't figure out why Adonis would ever do this fight, against someone framed in the movie as an unknown, only because his dad killed his dad? It makes no sense to me. He's expecting a kid, great thing, he's at the top of the boxing world, and he will jump into the ring with someone significantly bigger that he acknowledges could seriously injure or kill him? It makes no sense from what we learned in the first movie.

The cinematography in this film is truly terrible; there are several scenes that are almost unwatchable because the camera just kind of sits there.. at one point the framing is so messed up (in the training segments) that it just looks like someone walked off and left the camera sitting there, and almost every scene with Rashad is weirdly focused and garbage.

Maybe I saw a different film, I LOVED Creed. Would give it an A. This felt so lazy and poorly done, C+
 

Michael Henry

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I wish they would have at least made a mention that he moved up in weight classes.

In Creed he was fighting in the light heavyweight division - in this movie he was in the heavyweight division.
 

Race Bannon

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[sidebar]

I am 30. Therefore, the original run of films predated me. Also, I don't like sports at all, so while I don't object to sports movies and will watch them if they're good, they're also not something I would seek out as my first choice genre. In the case of Rocky, I know (especially after Creed) that I should track down the other films, but they're not streaming on Netflix or free-with-Prime (I looked), and I don't really want to blind purchase them. I could record them off the TV and watch them that way, and have been tempted to do so a couple times, but since I've never noticed them air on TCM, if I did it that way I'd end up seeing pan and scan versions cropped for TV. So, that's my long-winded excuse as to why I haven't run across them yet.

[/sidebar]

We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion of Creed II.

I was clutching my pearls with a full-on case of the vapors. Having said that, I might consider skipping Rocky 2 and Rocky 5 in your journey. Rocky 2 is predictable and snoozy at times, and is very well recapped in Rocky III. (Rocky III makes a great sequel to Rocky in my view).

Rocky IV is a unique gem, a frothy music video with Cold War, teeth-grinding pro-wrestler fun. And now the tie-in to Creed 2 makes it more relevant and enduring.

Rocky V is a horrible dumpster fire. Look away. It's only for Rocky fans and purists like me.

Rocky Balboa (Rocky 6) is awesome, a love letter to fans that made the Creed franchise possible.

So, lesser burden -- Rocky (an historic best picture winner), Rocky III (a tight, perfect sequel), Rocky IV (the Drago Saga), and Rocky Balboa (the reason we're still talking about this franchise).
 

Malcolm R

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I've also never seen any of the Rocky franchise. I think I have the first film on blu-ray ... somewhere. :eek: ;)
 

mattCR

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I will say this.. there is one element I really did appreciate out of this film, and that is they made a film where the lead character and those around them are terrible, terrible people, and the person you come away from the film truly respecting is Ivan Drago. I hadn't expected it but I thought that was a really beautiful moment that after the whole film you realize what terrible people Rocky and Adonis are, and how Ivan was the only one who actually cared about the other people and his family in a real way.

Adonis gets engaged, risks it all, shoves away his fiance to jump in a ring he's been warned could kill him. Damn the consequences to his family. Who cares. Gets killed.. refuses to throw in the towel because of personal pride, no matter how it might mess up his family and friends. Way to go. Gets out, recovers, his wife is pregnant and he runs off and leaves her, with Rocky taking him away, leaving her alone during a pregnancy while he's training for another fight against a guy that almost killed him, because who cares about what happens to his kid right? And Rocky is cool too, sure.

He comes back and find out he has a special needs kid - probably deaf and blind. Great. His wife has a long journey ahead, and they will need a lot of help. But, who cares about them, right? Let's hop in the ring where we could risk making her a widow because.. again, personal pride about nothing. His justification: I have to do this because I'm good at it. Ok, great. Way to protect your special needs kid.

Gets in the ring with Drago, gets beat up, and is like: oh well, keep going, if I'm going to die in the ring at least I'll have my pride/honor while my spouse and special needs kid gets nothing. Rocky sees him getting killed and is like: I'm not going to throw in the towel, I'll give him a rousing speech to go out there and get killed because WTF not.

The MOMENT, the Instant that Drago starts to really get hurt, Ivan does the only human thing in the whole film: he puts his pride aside and he rescues his son. It was all the humanity that was lost on everything else. Drago didn't have a special needs kid. He didn't have a new wife. He didn't have all this other stuff.. but he had a dad who honestly loved him and didn't want to see him permanently injured.

While the rest of the stuff made me think of this film as not great, I have to admit, the way in which we see someone actually care for their kid in such a way, in comparison to the completely self-centered brutal attitudes of the lead character was really beautiful.
 

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