Creed II punches through box office

Jay Tipirneni, Sports Editor

Creed II is a breathtaking sequel with nail-biting fight scenes, drama and conflict that will have you on the edge of your seat throughout the course of the film. Those who appreciate boxing dramas will fall in love with this movie and its story, which follows the life of Adonis Creed, son of deceased boxer Apollo Creed, and his preparation for the fight of his life.

The movie is a sequel to the blockbuster film Creed I that introduced key characters to the series. As of Dec. 16, the movie grossed $104 million with a production budget of only $50 million. It’s one of the few boxing oriented movies of the decade and follows a similar formula of its predecessors, the Rocky series.

Directed by Steven Caple Jr. as well as written by Sylvester Stallone and Cheo Hodari Coker, Creed II is meant to make the viewer empathize with Creed and his motivation to fight. Scenes including the depiction of Creed’s injuries force the viewer to recoil in disgust and pity for him. After watching him suffer through pains of all kind, in the ring and outside of it, all you want to see by the end of the movie is to see him win.

There are several conflicts that are followed throughout the course of the movie. The main one being between Adonis Creed and Viktor Drago. Their hatred of each other stems from the bad blood between their trainers. Creed’s trainer being Rocky Balboa and Drago’s being his father, Ivan Drago. In the original Rocky series, Ivan Drago kills Creed’s father, Apollo, in the ring, which is the motivational factor for Creed in this movie. Viktor Drago’s motivation is to repair the damage done to the Drago name by his father back in the Rocky series.

The director, Steven Caple Jr., is relatively new to directing large-scale feature films like Creed II. Having worked on several smaller-scale projects in the past such as “The Land” and “Directing a Sample” he certainly is still a viable leader in the Creed II project.

The casting decisions for the movie were close to perfect with each actor encompassing their character’s emotions and personalities exquisitely. Michael B. Jordan, a well-tenured actor with plenty of experience in related roles, plays Adonis Creed and is effective in portraying his rage and grief when necessary and does so with grace. Tessa Thompson plays Creed’s romantic partner and is also a partially deaf singer who helps guide Creed through his anguish throughout the film.  Dolph Lundgren successfully executes the role of the resentful former boxer and current boxing trainer, Ivan Drago. Florian Munteanu plays the role of Viktor Drago, who as a character is somewhat bland and introverted yet his incredible towering physique makes up for it when facing off with Creed at the end of the movie.