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REVIEW: ‘Creed 2’ packs more than a punch


SEQUELS ARE always tricky. You never really know what you're going to get and often wonder- with a rather pessimistic point of view - whether it'll live up to the original.

I'm happy to say that for Creed lovers, its sequel lives up to the hype and more.

Despite changing hands as Ryan Coogler relinquished directing duties and the sequel was undertaken by Steven Caple Jr. , Adonis [Michael B. Jordan], Rocky [Sylvester Stallone] & co are back like they never left as Creed 2 moves on seamlessly from the successful first film as Adonis encounters a new challenge - but this one has a whole lotta backstory.

Fresh off of becoming heavyweight champ of the world, and some additional lifestyle changes (leaving out some major spoilers!) Adonis is challenged then none other than the Viktor Drago [Florian Munteanu] - the son of the infamous Ivan Drago [Dolph Lundgren] who killed Apollo Creed [Carl Weathers] in Rocky IV.

What comes with this battle is a lot of pent up emotion and unresolved feelings for both Rocky and Adonis, Ivan and Viktor which plays out beautifully on screen.

As Adonis decides to take the fight much to Rocky’s disapproval, we see a stripped back version of the champ as he battles with being labelled “the best” despite not feeling like it, and dealing with the growing pressure associated with the Drago match and confronting a past which rocked his world.

This storyline also makes for a more emotive look into Rocky and Adonis’ relationship, as they dig deep into their emotions whilst relieving that fight and simultaneously trying to avoid history repeating itself.

What you get from Creed 2 is a tonne of heart, rib cracking fights (literally), intimate cinematography and a stellar performance from the all star cast - including newbie Florian Munteanu.

Munteanu doesn't speak a whole lot in the film, and when he does it's not in english. But the scene-stealing former MMA fighter somehow manages to convey his emotions brilliantly on screen as we’re able to understand his pain, drive and beastly talent with barely any words at all - a testament to his ability as an actor, making him one to watch.

And of course, beyond the boxing ring, there is a beautiful love story at play between Adonis and Bianca [Tessa Thompson], as we see their relationship blossom and also face the less-than-glamorous realities of a boxer’s lifestyle and equally of Bianca’s hearing loss. Both Adonis and Bianca’s relationship flow effortlessly on screen and we get to see a lot more of Bianca’s strength and progression throughout the film.

Overall, Creed 2 makes for a an emotional, entertaining 2 hours and 10 minutes - it’s got everything for the romantic in you, to the bloodthirsty fighter in you and much more, perfectly bridging the gap between the Rocky and Creed Franchise.

Creed 2 is in cinemas nationwide from November 30

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