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Creed II


Stars: Michael B Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren, Russell Hornsby, Phylicia Rashad, Brigitte Nielsen, Wood Harris, Florian 'Big Nasty' Munteanu

Director: Steven Caple Jr

Utterly predictable entry in the Rocky/Creed series, again co-starring Stallone, the man who has made more franchise sequels than any other actor in history. Of course, he's still Rocky Balboa, now the shambling trainer to Adonis Creed (Jordan), the son of Rocky's old adversary Apollo.

Adonis (aka Donny) KOs his latest opponent and proposes to his long-time girlfriend Bianca (Thompson). Everything in the garden seems to be lovely, but over in darkest Russia, the giant Ivan Drago (Lundgren), who killed Apollo Creed in the ring before being dismantled by Rocky, has trained his even bigger son Viktor (Big Nasty) into a fighting animal ready to challenge Donny for his newly-won heavyweight title.

Rocky advises his protege not to take such a no-win fight, but of course he does and gets knocked out - sustaining broken ribs and a damaged kidney for good measure.

So Rocky, who still runs a restaurant that never seems to have any customers, takes a recovering Donny on the toughest of training courses in the middle of nowhere before the return fight in Russia, where Donny is knocked down twice, but then ...well, you could write the rest yourselves, and in fact probably the whole thing as well, with results not far off those supplied by Stallone and his writing partner Juel Taylor.

In other words, same old, same old...

Of course, the fights are well staged, and must, perforce, be little more than slugfests, and there are puny subplots about Donny's new baby and Rocky's rocky(!) relationship with his son and grandchild. The boxing series should be stopped after this eighth round, as we've all taken enough punishment - even though the closing sequence may suggest otherwise.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
126 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 26 Nov 2018