Creed II

If there was any hope that after hogging the screen in Ryan Coogler’s 2015 reboot Creed, Sylvester Stallone would cede the spotlight to Michael B. Jordan and company in this tired sequel, it gets dashed quick. We are not two minutes into Creed II before Rocky Balboa begins the first of many long-winded life lesson speeches, and the film never stops obsessing over him. Ironically, most of Creed II deals with Adonis’ concerns that he will never escape the shadow of his famous father, but he’s clearly worried about the wrong person’s shadow. Even the plot of Creed II is recycled from 1985’s Rocky IV, as defeated Russian contender Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) emerges from decades in exile with a vengeance-minded son named Viktor (Florian Munteanu). Whatever you think about Rocky IV, it is inarguably a mid-1980s time capsule. Creed II isn’t a time capsule, but it should get buried.