Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, reprising their roles of Adonis Creed and Rocky Balboa.
Creed II is the continuation of the Rocky saga and sequel to the 2015 critically acclaimed and crowd-pleasing 2015 hit Creed, which took in more than $170 million at the worldwide box office.
This time Steven Caple Jr. directs from an original screenplay written and produced by Stallone with Ryan Coogler - of black panther fame - billed as executive producer
What is the result you ask? Well, pretty much exactly the same.
The story is ok and borrows heavily from previous rocky movies as well as more recent hits such the Fighter (with Mark Wahlberg) and Southpaw (with Jake Gyllenhaal).
This time round, life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed - between personal obligations and training for his next big fight (ala Rocky 3). Meanwhile Rocky Balboa is there fighting his own personal battles by his side through it all.
Alas, just as Adonis should be reaping the rewards of all his hard work, Dolph Lundgren appears from the shadows, reprising his iconic role as Ivan Drago (the man who killed his father) along with his seemingly invincible boxer son Viktor Drago who together represent one of the greatest challenges of both their lifetimes.
As you can probably tell, the film is emotionally charged from the starting bell, asking all the important soul searching questions that Rocky Film boxers ask of their profession, whilst trying to get through the daily grind which is family life.
Adding to this emotional onion is Tessa Thompson as Bianca, the hard of hearing musician love interest who delivers a further knock out performance of her own and is an urban “Adriaaaan” for a whole new generation.
Speaking of being down with the kids... You can sense Coogler’s fingerprints all over this project from the stunning cinematography, visceral intensity of the training and fight scenes and especially in the music which transitions the rapturous rocky classic “gonna fly now” into hard-hitting Hip Hop courtesy of Kendrick Lamar and an amazing array of contemporary talent.
The only real flaws in this movie are the same as in the original (Rocky IV) in that the bad guy, played by Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu as Viktor Drago, really doesn't say that much, although they do a good job of rounding out both the Drago Characters so we get a three dimensional picture of these “underdogs” this time around.
Also, as with all Rocky films, it can be a little slow and everyone is really just waiting for the final training montage which is EPIC and will have you doing chin-ups in the cinema aisles.
Take it from me, both these guys have got super uber mega SWOLE for this movie.
At the end of the day though, Mr Stallone absolutely steals this movie.
It is Rocky IV, the second, and funnily enough it is the 8th time he has donned his pork pie hat and gloves to play ROCKYYYYYY Balboa.
Now Creed went on to garner many honours for Stallone, including a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination and just when you think you can’t get any more out of this character, Stallone rakes up yet more emotional baggage than even Heathrow Terminal 5 could handle, tugging on the heartstrings of the movie going, boxing loving, audience once again.
Simply put, if you like Rocky movies you will absolutely love this.