Creed II is a film that doesn’t impede or destroy the previous work done by the first film by Ryan Coogler but keeps it going at a straightforward place. There wasn’t much done to the film that was not unexpected or hard to not see coming. Though there are some set backs in having a more by the numbers sequel, it did not lose the heart of the first film with the character relationships between Adonis, Bianca and Rocky. The characters grew through the course of the film and the film also deals with toxic masculinity in a mature way.
Toxic Masculinity is a hot button issue now and the film showcases how destructive it can be without being able to deal with personal insecurities. The film shows how Adonis’s pride overtakes him and his ability to see clearly in order not only be a better fighter but to be a better person for not only himself but for his family. Though you can see the course of the film miles ahead the beats that play aren’t tough to watch they are executed well. The personal struggle to be a good father and to learn to love someone who is different was a nice storyline for Adonis and Bianca to deal with, especially with growing a family.
Because of you… I lose everything. My country. Respect. You ever see stray dogs in the Ukraine? They go for days without food. People spit on them, they are nothing. No home. Only will to survive… to fight. I have son. All he knows…
Rocky also gets his dues to shine as a character. It does feel that the character has completed his arc and has finished by the end of the film that leaves him on a good note personally but for Stallone professionally that he doesn’t need to continue being a coach for a Rocky franchise film to work. The relationship between him and Adonis does go head to head over the course of the film and they learn as characters how they show respect and a strong father-son relationship.
I think that this is a good entry to stop the franchise for the time being and wait for a time jump to move the plot forward with someone else at the lead. Though it was nice to have the fight between Adonis and Drago’s son, that narrative journey had been met by the end of the picture. I would say that there is always opportunity to do more with Drago’s son or another character within the universe established, but the Creed character has completed his journey. I would definitely see this film on the big screen when you can. It is not something you need to rush to see but it is worth seeing.