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'Creed II': Suffers from sequel syndrome (IANS Review, Rating: **)

IANS 

Film: "II"; Director: Stephen Jr.; Cast: Michel B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Russell Hornsby, Phylicia Rashad, and Florian Munteanu; Rating: **

Like most sequels, "II" is a huge disappointment. It is far from intense, epic and emotional.

While its predecessor, which released in 2015 hit all the expected beats of the genre, like overcoming insurmountable odds and overwhelming feeling of accomplishments and surprised us by the minute emotional tinges in the narration, this edition directed by Stephen Jr. lacks on all the above fronts.

In fact, there is no real story here. The writing credited to four writers, two for screenplay and two for the story, gum up a plot that are a bunch of scenes from the various "Rocky" plots.

Here the inciting moment seems forced. It comes after a series of romantic sequences between Adonis and his girlfriend Bianca, when (Florian Munteanu), the son of the former Soviet Ivan Dragos, the man who killed Creed's father in the ring a generation earlier in "IV", challenges him for the heavyweight title. They fight and obviously Adonis loses but a lamentable scripting decision has Viktor disqualified, therefore technically leaving the crown on Adonis who has just been trashed.

This leads to Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) once again training Adonis. But this time the motivation to succeed is lacking. Instead the writers lay emphasis on Adonis' private life. The narrative briefly touches upon how he proposes to Bianca, her hearing issue which is then stretched on to investigating their baby for auditory problems and Adonis' guilt trip. Their heart-breaking development takes centre-stage. But unfortunately, the scenes are so hastily wrapped up that you don't care for them.

The script is packed with corny bashfulness on Creed's part and verbose expository as takes time out from chatting with his wife's tombstone in order to advise Creed not to fight

As for the performances, is sincere, effortless and well-deserving as Adonis. He now seems world weary and burdened with the crown and thus the spark that we saw in him in the first edition, is now missing. So, he doesn't seem to be the same character and everything he goes through just doesn't feel inspired or grounded.

as Rocky Balboa resonates his part in an inarticulate manner, earnestly. as gives an amazing nuanced performance. She is resolute, stoic, fragile and vulnerable all at the same time. with a strong screen presence as is intimidating.

Overall, for a about a boxer's life, the fighting sequences are what holds the pulse of the narrative. But here the fighting scenes are poorly packaged. Unfortunately they seem more like club boxing matches rather than the epic battle it is made out to be. So in that sense, "Creed II" never really delivers.

--IANS

troy/nn/bg

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 19:38 IST
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