The Rocky, or better say, Creed saga continues with an underwhelming entry to the series by wasting the high nostalgic potential that it had.
Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) starts the movie by becoming the heavy weight boxing champion of the world, while Rocky Balboa is sitting ringside. The happiness doesn't last long, as a blast from the past hits them hard in form of an exiled Ivan Drago - the Russian boxer from Rocky IV who brought Apollo Creed (Adonis' father) to an early demise. Rocky, however, had avenged Apollo by defeating Ivan in Russia. After Ivan's defeat by Rocky (in Rocky IV), Ivan was shunned from the society and was forced to seek refuge in Ukraine. There, Ivan trained his son Viktor and made a 'mean machine' out of him. Viktor sees Rocky and Creed as the reason for his family's misery. So, he wants to right the wrongs done to his father...
Creed II had me excited by the promise of another chapter in the endless vendetta between Drago and Creed/Balboa family. The movie, however, failed in a major way in my opinion. Going back to an earlier post that I had about the three pillars of a good movie, Creed II made me dislike Adonis Creed's whiny boring character (i.e., the protagonist), and root for Viktor Drago (i.e., the intended antagonist). Viktor was the underdog who was a victim of circumstances and was seeking glory and recognition.
Tessa Thompson returns as Creed's love interest. The focus on her singing career and her performance before Creed-Drago match felt forced in the plot of a boxing movie. Has anybody ever watched a sports movie in the hope of seeing the rise of a struggling singer (regardless of gender)?
The saving grace of this whole movie was Sylvester Stallone. He owned every second of screen time that he had. It's sad that he said goodbye to this role of a lifetime.
Overall, this was a mediocre movie at best. I give it a 5.5/10.