Tessa Thompson stars as Bianca and Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed in the film “Creed II.” Credit: Courtesy of TNS

The film “Creed II” is the sequel to the blockbuster “Creed,” that follows the story of Apollo Creed’s son Adonis Creed. The movie which is directed by Steven Caple Jr., whereas the first movie was directed by Ryan Coogler. The screenplay was written by Sylvester Stallone and Cheo Hodari Coker. The movie continues the story of Adonis Creed and his journey during his rise to boxing stardom.

First thing is the directing. Steven Caple Jr.’s style was noticeably different from the first film in regards to how the intense fighting scenes were shot. The scenes were especially interesting and gave the movie a dynamic flair that the original film lacked.

The movie stars Michael B. Jordan, Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren and Florian Munteanu. Adonis Creed (Jordan) is a newly championed boxer who is challenged to a fight by Viktor Drago (Munteanu), whose father, Ivan Drago (Lundgren) killed his father Apollo Creed in the ring more than 30 years ago. Creed struggles with the loss of his father in addition to the hate and resentment that he has toward the Drago name.

From the fighting scenes to the heart to hearts with Rocky Balboa (Stallone), Jordan’s skills shine through. One scene, in particular, that was amazing to watch, was one of the many training sequences that was visually powerful. Also, the level of physicality that he conveys in the film is very impressive.

Stallone reprising his iconic role of Rocky was, and always is amazing. Also, Thompson as Bianca, Adonis’s love interest, gave a good performance and her character differed from the stereotypical boxer’s wife which was really interesting to see.

The movie’s storyline was a bit nostalgic to the original “Rocky” movies with the return of Ivan Drago, and the introduction of his son Viktor.

The movie’s plot was a bit bumpy and lacked a deeper and more rounded backstory for Viktor. In a sense, the movie glossed over him as a person and only portrayed him as this “ultimate fighter,” even though his character was such as large part of the movie. As Adonis’ ultimate opponent he should have had more of a personality rather than being a figurehead.

His father Ivan had more of a role in the plot than him. Ivan carried the Drago storyline for both him and Viktor, which made it seem less about Adonis Creed versus Viktor Drago and more about Adonis Creed against the pain he suffered because of Ivan Drago.

The film was good and is worth seeing, but seemed to have more of a connection to the Rocky franchise than the Creed franchise. The story just seemed a bit drawn out and overdone.

In the first film, it seemed as though Adonis had finally accepted his father and his name but then it is portrayed that he never got over his death, to begin with. Overall, it was a pretty good film and a decent follow up to “Creed.”