Hollywood long ago learned to take mumble-mouth, top-heavy Sylvester Stallone seriously.
He was nominated for Best Actor in 1977 for his role as boxer Rocky Balboa, in a film for which he also received a nom for writing. It spawned four more sequels.
Then, not long ago, Stallone had a comeback. With The Expendables, he flourished as a writer-director-star and brought the biggest action names of young and old on for three films.
But no one could have expected he’d make Creed, a pseudo-revamp set in the world of aging Rocky Balboa that would shine a light on new star Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed, a former rival and friend of Rocky’s.
Jordan and Stallone shone together on-screen, directed by Ryan Coogler, now-famous for Black Panther. Stallone was even nominated for an Oscar for reprising that role in 2016.
But I would have never guessed Creed II would match the sheer bravura and strength of the original revamp like it did. The nostalgia factor is pushed into high-gear here.
In this film, Adonis Creed is pitted against Viktor Drago, son of Ivan, who killed Creed’s father decades back. It plays as a son-vs-son, Rocky-vs-Ivan twofold fight, with struggles inside all of the characters to top it off.
It’s an incredible watch, and Michael B. Jordan really steps into his own here. Stallone is also fantastic once again, and director Steven Caple Jr. handles the content with grace and style.
It’s an amazing feature, and one of the best of the year. It may not win any awards, but it sure is worth a cinema visit.