Caple Jr.’s persuasive anthology on this boxing match to prove it is essential, makes it less essential.
Caple Jr.’s persuasive anthology on this boxing match to prove it is essential, makes it less essential. You can practically see him sweat behind the screen like Jordan sweats in front of you, to grab your attention, and once you give it to him, he doesn’t have anything new to say. It is old book testimony and in fact the film itself confesses it once, “the history might repeat itself” and unfortunately it does. The entire structure of the script is similar to the previous Drago chapter in Rocky series.
The boxing matches, the songs, the routines, the mistakes, the family drama and rebirthing itself once again, all the antics installed in here is a seen-this-seen-that conflict and also the solution. It merely feels like an episode of a series, and neither is this the middle chapter where everything gets flipped, nor is this the grand season finale, no one’s wiser after the dust settles. Still there is something gutsy about Jordan’s looks that makes you want to stay in this fight till the last round.
His work is more than admirable, primarily because along with all those hokum strategies, irrelevant slow motion shots and at times impressive tactics, he can also act. And that’s very hard to find. He makes sure you are looking in his eyes when he is on screen. And he does what he couldn’t do in the previous Creed chapter and that is to make you choose him over Stallone. On Stallone’s defense, he doesn’t have much to invest in this one. Reminiscing the repetitive melodrama of his personal life, Stallone is completely out of this ring. He is underused for the most part of it.
The peak moment of the film does allow both of these heavyweight championship to play the higher cards. A genuinely moving showdown of Stallone and Jordan in the middle act does makes your heart pump faster. In that hospital room, where Jordan’s idol has fallen in front of him, somewhat and somehow the film promises you to take this into newer territories with justified reasonings. But as soon as you raise your hopes high, it beats you down to the ground with a knockout punch. What was Coogler’s head spinning punch in the previous installment, it is left out dry and numb by Caple Jr.
Arguably, the execution isn’t bad, it is weak at times, but it also has its moment, the real culprit though is the script, confined in its own bubble no one is ready to pop it out. Thompson, Rashad and Lundgren as the supporting cast isn’t impressive enough to hold on to their own ground, they are handed over a stereotypical space to fill in. As far as the action is concerned, both Jordan and Munteanu has done a bravura of work, it is surely a more gritty fight than the previous one but then these are empty punches. Creed II is another Monday on this training boxing match, the tactics or methods may change but it still is a regular physical training.