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Adonis The New Breed in CREED II Movie Review

Posted on November 20 2018 by Editor

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Adonis The New Breed in CREED II Movie Review

It was three years ago that director Ryan Coogler brought us “Creed” which in that, brought fans an update of the life of legendary fictional boxer Rocky Balboa, the role that made iconic actor Sylvester Stallone an icon.

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In “Creed”, Stallone had taken young boxer Adonis Johnson (portrayed by Michael B. Jordan) under his wing as his trainer and mentor. In “Creed 2,” audiences will see Adonis strive to reach another level in boxing that was achieved by his deceased father Apollo Creed, and Rocky Balboa. “Creed 2” takes us on his journey as Adonis battles personal conflicts to crack into his inner beast and higher self.

“Creed 2” brings the characters full circle when Balboa is faced with an old Ukrainian challenger, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) when he pits his son Viktor Drago to avenge his boxing defeat by Balboa over thirty years ago.

We rejoin Adonis in his current life as a successful boxer having six consecutive boxing wins under his belt and recently crowned the Heavyweight Champion of the World. The upmost highest level and honor achievable by a boxer. However, something still isn’t right in Adonis’ world. He seeks to find it and is certain that the answer rests in accepting the challenge laid upon him by Viktor Drago. Adonis gives boxing fans what they want, “the fight the whole world wants to see,” even against Balboa’s warning due to his own experience when Ivan broke things inside of him that “have never been fixed.”

“Creed 2,” this time directed by Steven Caple Jr., does a great job of keeping the heart and story from the original and seamlessly bringing audiences up-to-date with the same characters in their present day lives. The heart, the soul, and struggles of the characters are exposed making for emotional moments in the movie, as was also in the first. Audiences may catch themselves with a teary-eye here and there throughout the movie.

Actress Tessa Thompson, who plays Adonis’ girlfriend Bianca, returns. As well as actress Phylicia Rashad as “Mary Anne Creed” mother of Adonis and widow of Apollo Creed. Not returning, as mentioned earlier, was director Ryan Coogler who directed “Creed.” Surprising since Stallone mentioned at a Q&A of a past screening of “Creed” that Coogler reminded him of himself.

Boxing fans will apreciate the realistic boxing scenes in “Creed 2” along with the behind-the-scenes stuff that we don’t get to see and hear. For example “Creed 2” takes viewers inside of the ring to hear the dialogue shared between trainers and their boxers.

We can be sure that actor Michael B. Jordan who plays Adonis, was roughend-up again in real life during his training for the movie. At the same Q&A, Stallone stated that Jordan took some real punches for his role. Stallone recounted that Michael “got so banged-up and knocked-out.” These gyms, Stallone stated, are very territorial and it’s their turf. “They don’t want to look bad. So, they unleash on him (Michael).” While real-life singer Tessa Thompson went to Philly and wrote her own songs to submerse herself in the role.

“Sometimes you have to go with your gut instinct” said Stallone. Making “Creed,” was it liberating? Stallone replied “yes” it was! He said because you see it (the story) from a fresh pair of eyes – these millennials. Stallone also commented about his character Rocky Balboa and Adonis as although they are on the same planet, they live in a different universe.

Creed 2, Ivan Drago, Viktor Drago

Pictured (l-r) Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago, Florian Munteanu as Viktor Drago. Copyright MGM/Warner Bros.

“Creed 2” does a great job at honoring “Rocky” and fans will be able to connect well with it by enjoying the reconnecting of past character Ivan Drago to the modern-day threat Adonis Creed as he seeks his redemption through his son. During filming of “Creed”, Stallone stated in the Q&A interview that Jordan told him he felt like he had to compete with what came before. Stallone told him that he’s the “new Rocky” and he is looking at him like he’s the new breed. “I’m not your competitor, I’m your life support,” Stallone told him.

“There’s something about the Rocky journey…he just moves through life that’s very identifiable. I think that’s what translates. He’s not great looking. He’s selfless and he keeps pushing forward. That’s the human spirit.” Stallone also stated, “I’m here 40 years later because we connect. My journey is part of your journeys.”

Stallone was asked by the moderator what it was like going back to Philly after all these years. Stallone said “it changed drastically. It’s undernourished.” He acknowledged that director Coogler came in and caught the charm of the city.

“Creed 2” places Adonis on the ultimate boxing throne. However, he soon finds out that the real challenge is how to mantain his new found glory, and proving to himself and others that he is worthy. The outcome that happens because of that inner struggle is the driving force in “Creed 2.”

On Adonis character, who left his privileged life to pursue his dream of boxing in a big arena, Stallone said “the call of the wild brought him back. His happiness meant that he had to go through trial by fire.”

MGM’s “Creed 2” opens in theaters on Wednesday, November 21, 2018.

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