WARNING: This review contains massive spoilers. You’ve been warned!
Creed II is a movie about Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, two guys connected by a long lineage of punches to the face and broken ribs. B. Jordan plays Creed, Adonis, a guy who is about 27 and is the heavyweight champion of the world. The film takes place in a fictional universe where people still care about boxing. People care about it because of Balboa. That’s who Stallone, Sylvester plays, a man who grunt-talks and has an increasingly calm and wise mentor disposition through these films. He got cancer in the first Creed, and he wanted to die, cause his wife is dead, and so is Paulie. But B. Jordan was like, “Don’t die on me, asshole,” and so Balboa #rallied.
Creed II is about a lot more than these dudes though. Creed marries his girlfriend, Bianca, from Creed One, and Creed has a Creed baby. Creed thinks a lot about his father, Carl Weathers, and we see photos and videos of Weathers on walls and iPads. That’s because Creed 2 is about legacy. And it turns out the Creed and Balboa legacy is only one of the legacies of focus. The other legacy is that of Dolph “Drago” Lundgren, and his son, Strong Russian Guy.
In Rocky 4, Dolph murdered Weathers in the ring. Dolph also took ‘roids, and he was the poster child for the evil Soviet Union. Balboa defeated him, suffering severe brain damage in the process, and Drago Lundgren was never heard from again.
Until Creed II.
In Creed II, Lundgren is mad at Balboa. It turns out he’s been mad at Balboa for over 30 years, because when Balboa defeated him in his home country at the end of Rocky 4, he ruined Lundgren’s life. Quite literally, it turns out, because after not breaking Balboa, he lost his wife and brought great shame to Russia as a whole, ending Russian boxing before it began. In those 30 years, Lundgren Drago has evidently done nothing but live in poverty and train his son. He’s one of those dads that forces his son to become what he could never be.
And apparently he’s been waiting for his opportunity, cause now that Creed B. Jordan is famous, Lundgren is like, “Hey. I killed your dad. Now you should fight my son.” Balboa is all, “Nah, I’m not getting involved. Go back to Russia.” But Creed B. Jordan is all, “You killed my father, so I have to break you.” Needless to say, Creed B. Jordan gets massacred by Dolph Jr., almost dying just like his dad, Carl Weathers.
But he survives. And he’s sad. And Balboa is all, “Man, maybe I shoulda helped.” And so we get another classic Balboa/Creed pairing, and the two go out to Walter White desert land for a training montage. This montage intercuts between B. Jordan and Dolph Jr. knocking out a lot of people he’s sparring with. B. Jordan flips tires and fights toe to toe with a yoked Mexican man with a lot of tats. He also lifts a lot of weights with his neck, cause the neck is pretty important in throwing a good #uppercut, and he needed traps to match those of Dolph Jr.
Somewhere around this point, we get to watch Dolph and Dolph Jr. sitting with powerful Russian politicians. These powerful Russian people include Dolph’s former wife, Brigitte Nielsen. She looks mean, and Dolph looks sad. The powerful Russian politicians are like, “Thank you, Drago Jr., for bringing glory back to Russian boxing. May you kill Creed Jr., just as your father killed Creed Sr., before he brought shame to our entire nation,” adding, “In case you did not know, this is the most important story of the last 30 years of Russian history.” Dolph Jr. is all, “What the hell, Dad? What are we fighting for? My mother left me!” Dolph Sr. gets all, “I lost! Don’t you understand, this is my fault! You must win! Drago!” The audience is left with the sense that something intense just happened.
Needless to say, since Creed B. Jordan made his neck all jacked, Drago Jr. didn’t stand a chance. It’s one of those fights defined by powerful punches to the face and bod, little to no defense, and Creed B. Jordan overcomes his fears to become the Creed he was always meant to be. His wife is happy, and so is Balboa. Dolph even has a realization. Watching Dolph Jr. getting pummeled, he tosses in the towel, what Balboa never did for Creed Weathers. This moment is very touching and made me cry.
Oh, and there’s this subplot where Balboa is estranged from his son. At the end, they reconnect. It’s a ripoff of Old Man Marley reconnecting with his son at the end of Home Alone, but given that that’s one of the better moments of film history, we can forgive Stallone for not acknowledging the South Bend Shovel Slayer.
Sadly, we get no Creed Weathers cameo playing piano in the clouds, but thanks to Happy Gilmore, we can at least imagine it. All is well in the end, and since this movie is making a lot of money, there will probably be a Creed III.
What will the plot of Creed III be? Will Creed fight Mr. T’s son? Or Tommy Gunn’s brother? Maybe that Don King asshole from Rocky 5 who flew through the air after an ungloved Balboa uppercut? Let us know what you hope the plot for Creed III will be in the Comments, dear friend, and we’ll send them along to the producers, and if they use your ideas, we’ll sue them and take all of Creed’s money!