From the beginning to end, the directing was so good. The script was so well written and I love it. Best movie of the year
Creed II (2018) 720p YIFY Movie
Creed II (2018)
Creed II is a movie starring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson. Under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa, heavyweight contender Adonis Creed faces off against Viktor Drago, son of Ivan Drago.
IMDB: 7.68 Likes
The Synopsis for Creed II (2018) 720p
Years after Adonis Creed made a name for himself under Rocky Balboa's mentorship, the young boxer becomes the Heavyweight Champion of the World. While life is good with that victory and his marriage to Bianca, trouble comes to Philadelphia when Ivan Drago, the Russian boxer who killed Adonis' father, Apollo, arrives with his son, Viktor, to challenge Adonis. Against Rocky's advice, Adonis accepts the challenge without his mentor's participation and pays the price in a punishing bout he wins only by a technicality. Now injured and demoralized, Adonis cannot bring himself to back into the game, leaving his spirit and title in jeopardy. Together, Adonis' family and Rocky must find a way to rekindle Adonis' fighting spirit to face the future in whatever choice he makes. Meanwhile, the Drago family have its own troubles trying to regain the respect in their homeland that they lost at Rocky's hands as they wonder whether is it truly worth it.
The Director and Players for Creed II (2018) 720p
The Reviews for Creed II (2018) 720p
So freaking goodReviewed byronaldon-16019Vote: 10/10
Seriously, Adonis has shown nothing but how needy and insecure he is. I didn't buy his change at all and really couldn't feel what was he supposedly fighting for in that last fight. Yeah he had a kid in a meantime, but he remained the same selfish brat.
Both Dragos were FAR more interesting. Victor being this kinda confused brute, and Ivan having an actual arc: from using his son and manipulating him for any cost to gain back the approval of the wife and Russia, to accepting that it's the son who is important to him now, and spending time training (running scene) with him back in Ukraine by the end.
If this was a setup for Drago spin-off then kudos, I'm interested!
Watching the dilemmas of Adonis I caught myself rolling my eyes twice or thrice, and I'm not the rolling-eyes type. I seriously feel the need now to watch a GOOD fighting movie now to see if I haven't lost it and just stopped liking these, because I just don't get all the praises this movie gets.
Creed (2015) was probably the best of the remakequels (ostensible sequels that are, for all intents and purposes, remakes) that came out in the mid-2010s, and was the first Rocky film not written by Sylvester Stallone, and not directed by either Stallone or John G. Avildsen. After Rocky Balboa (2006) did the seemingly impossible, redeeming and concluding the franchise after the damage done by Rocky V (1990), Creed did something even more unlikely - revitalising the franchise with Rocky himself as a supporting character. For the sequel, Stallone is back as a writer (sharing credit with Juel Taylor, from a story by Sascha Penn and Cheo Hodari Coker), with Steven Caple Jr. directing. Whereas Creed was essentially a remake of the original Rocky (1976), Creed II is more of a combination of Rocky III (1982) and Rocky IV (1985), with some elements from Rocky II (1979), and whilst it hits all the beats one expects from a Rocky movie, the problem is that it hits them so slavishly, and does little else. It also, perhaps inevitably, suffers badly in comparison to its predecessor, especially in terms of direction - whereas Ryan Coogler's directorial work was assured, distinctive, and inventive, Caple Jr.'s is pedestrian and functional. Had it strayed from the formula just a tad, the way Creed did, the way Rocky Balboa did, it would have been a much better film. The kernel for a terrific film is there, but the execution is not, it features a litany of clichés, it's dull, repetitive, and the antagonist's subplot is infinitely more compelling than the main plot.
What's perhaps most surprising about Creed II is that not only is it a sequel to Creed, it's also a sequel to one of the most ridiculous films of all time, and one which certainly didn't cry out for a continuation of the narrative, Rocky IV. Creed recast the Rocky template for a modern audience, setting it in a social-realist African-American milieu and relegating Rocky to a supporting player. Rocky IV, by contrast, was the movie wherein the franchise abandoned all semblance of realism; the film in which Rocky himself, the working-class everyman, became a superhero, travelling to the Soviet Union, defeating Communism, and winning the Cold War by preaching glasnost to the Soviet people (two years before Ronald Reagan's "tear down this wall" speech). It's a movie so ridiculous that the poster quite literally tells you how it ends! It also features Sylvester Stallone all but sexually abusing Sergei M. Eisenstein's theories of montage. The first example of such (Rocky driving pensively into the night) is a montage of Rocky thinking about montages, and the second (Rocky training by cutting down trees and running atop mountains) is probably the most 80s thing to ever exist. The film is, in fact, so preposterous, far-fetched, and ludicrous that if you're unable to have fun watching it, you may as well just stop watching movies.
From an aesthetic point of view, Creed II is largely unremarkable (there's certainly nothing as epic as the single-shot fight from the first film), but one aspect that did stand out is the sound. As the first film established, Bianca (Tessa Thompson) is losing her hearing, something which is manifested in the aural design of Creed II several times. At the start of the film, for example, as Bianca walks through the backstage area prior to the title fight, the sound of the crowd is soft and distanced until she puts in her hearing aid. Later, when Creed is training in a swimming pool, Bianca and Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad) are talking at another location, with their conversation carrying over his scenes. However, every time he goes below the water, the sound of their voices dulls as if it were diegetic. When Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) is knocked down during his bout with Viktor (Florian Munteanu), all sound is pulled from the film, only returning when he locks eyes with Bianca in the crowd. Even Adonis's marriage proposal involves her hearing aid. This is all thematic, of course, insofar as they are worried their child may inherit her hereditary hearing loss.
Thematically, legacy is a huge issue in Creed II, particularly as it relates to fathers and sons - Apollo and Adonis Creed, Ivan (Dolph Lundgren) and Viktor Drago, Duke and Little Duke (Wood Harris). Rocky himself is something of a surrogate father to Adonis, and is estranged from his own son, Robert, and a grandson he has never met. Whilst Creed saw Adonis use boxing as a way to symbolically bond with a father he never knew, Creed II is more concerned with the emotionally fraught terrain that can result when fathers try to live vicariously through their sons, and when sons must live with their father's failures. Everything Viktor does, for example, is an attempt to earn Ivan's approval, whilst Ivan sees Viktor as the only way to atone for what happened to him after losing to Rocky.
Indeed, the depiction of the Dragos in general is especially interesting, and is both one of the best aspects of the film, and simultaneously one of the most problematic. In Rocky IV, Ivan was a cartoon villain, a badly written, pseudo-xenophobic hyperbole of what some Americans seemed to think Soviets were like. He was barely one-dimensional. In Creed II, he's still relatively thin as a character, but Lundgren is given enough room to portray him as essentially broken, living on nothing but bitterness, resentment, and shame. One gets the impression that from the moment of his loss he's been waiting for this, seeing his son as nothing more than the delivery method of his vengeance. Ivan has raised Viktor in pure hate, teaching him that the only thing that matters is winning, but you can see in every move that Viktor is far more concerned with earning his father's respect - winning as an end unto itself means relatively little to him. There's a lot of pathos in that, and both Lundgren and Munteanu act the hell out of the complex dynamic.
The training montages also do something very interesting in respect to Viktor. Showing him jogging through economically impoverished communities, stacking crates, lugging around bags of cement, and working with less than state-of-the-art equipment, the parallel is not to Ivan, who trained with hi-tech gizmos and gadgets in Rocky IV, but to Rocky's training in the original film. Indeed, whilst Adonis lives in a luxury apartment, Viktor and Ivan live in a dingy bedsit in Ukraine that recalls Rocky's original digs in Philadelphia.
The problem with all of this is that the Drago's story is by far the most compelling one in the film. One should not come away from a film named Creed II wishing there had been less Creed and more of the antagonists. Set against the complex and fascinating Drago family drama, Creed and Bianca's story is pretty insipid. The most dramatic and heartfelt moments of the film involve Ivan and Viktor, and the long middle section where Creed falls into a depression seems to go on forever; the whole time we were watching him fall apart, I was yearning to get back to the Dragos.
And this feeds into the film's most egregious problems - its rigid adhesion to the Rocky template, and the concomitant predictability. Chances are that everything you think might happen in Creed II does, as the film makes no attempt whatsoever to be original. Aside from the Drago subplot, there is nothing here that we haven't seen before. Granted, the Rocky franchise has always tended to wear its predictability like a badge of honour, and the core template does undoubtedly work. But even when a film adheres to that template, one shouldn't be able to predict each narrative beat with near perfect accuracy. Even Rocky V, as awful as it was, tried something new, culminating with a street fight rather than an in-ring bout. It didn't even remotely work, but the thinking behind it was admirable. Aside from two unexpected cameos, Creed II never once caught me off-guard, doing nothing original, unexpected, or in any way daring. And because of that, for large portions of the runtime, particularly the middle section, the film is interminably boring.
Even the boxing itself is not especially well-done. Kramer Morgenthau's cinematography is fine, but nothing special, and pales in comparison to Maryse Alberti's work in the first film. Similarly, Caple Jr.'s direction is efficient, but not in the same ballpark as Coogler's. Aside from Raging Bull (1980) and Ali (2001), both visually unique in their own ways, Creed is arguably the most technically proficient boxing movie in terms of in-ring competition. Creed II, however, shoots all the fights very conventionally, holding a fairly uniform three-quarters distance from the actors, with Caple Jr.'s only trick seeming to be slow-motion, which he grossly over-uses. This has the effect of making the fights seem repetitive, even when the story being told by the fighting action is different (which isn't helped by the fact that Ivan tells Viktor to "break him" about 150 times).
Although there are some laudable elements here, Creed II is a disappointment in almost every way, from the dull and soulless domestic scenes to a dénouement that goes beyond suspension-of-disbelief, with not a hint of unpredictability. By deconstructing the Rocky template, Creed found its way to unexpected thematic depths, whereas Creed II exists entirely on the surface. Sure, the Rocky melodrama is there, the Rocky fights are there, the Stallone one-liners are there, but with a narrative focused almost entirely on the less interesting characters, this has to go down as a missed opportunity. Apart from the Drago subplot, everything is by-the-numbers. Yes, we care about these characters, but that's primarily because of the previous films, and whereas Creed forged a path very much its own, Creed II returns us to the safety of the overly familiar.