By Michael Foster-Sanders/campus editor

Legacies are on the line and sons will go to war to honor their fathers’ past deeds

Creed II bobs and weaves to deliver a knockout blow to audiences but not without being on the ropes a couple of times.

As always, movie sequels are a tricky slope to maneuver through. If the movie is a rehash of the first film, the audience will be bored, but if the movie is too different, you run the risk of alienating fans of the franchise.

Director Steven Caple Jr. does a good job of finding that balance.

The movie starts with Adonis Creed played by Michael B. Jordan fighting for the boxing heavyweight championship. This isn’t the novice boxer that Creed portrayed in the first movie because he’s polished and honed his skills thanks to his trainer Rocky Balboa played by returning actor Sylvester Stallone.

When Creed wins the title, the ghost of his family past comes back to haunt him. Former boxer Ivan Drago who killed Creed’s father Apollo three decades ago in the boxing ring and was the shining star of Soviet Union until he was defeated by Balboa, appears and Drago’s son challenges Creed for the title.

However, this film isn’t simply a boxing movie.

It’s a drama with boxing as its backdrop.

Creed feels as if he must avenge the father he never knew, Drago wants revenge for his country turning its back on him and plans to use his son as redemption and Balboa doesn’t want the same thing that happened to Apollo to happen to Creed, who he views as a son.

Parents play a big part in their children’s upbringing, even influencing them after death. This is the theme with Creed II.

Caple took over director duties from award winning director Ryan Coogler, who directed Creed. Although the movie somewhat suffers due to Coogler’s eye not being present, Caple makes the film his own by bringing out some of the best emotional scenes the Rocky franchise has ever seen.

Caple knows how to film pain, which the audience feels when they see what Adonis and Victor face, not only in the boxing ring but also in their personal lives when it comes to family and what they see as redemption.

The movie’s score also plays a big part and should not go unnoticed.

Ludwig Goransson returns from his work on the first film and double downs on the emotional score to make the audience become one with Creed. With assistance from super producer Mike WiLL Made-It, the theme song takes cues from Rocky’s theme “Gonna Fly Now” and creates “Ice Cold” featuring rapper Vince Staples. This song is sure to be on a workout playlist because it’s epic to feel anything is achievable with Staple’s motivational rap coaching them.

Is Creed II better than the first? No, but it’s a solid companion piece. If there is a third movie, Coogler must come back to send Creed and Rocky out in glory. Go and see this movie.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars
3 1/2 out of 5 stars