Okay – for starters, let me tell you that I have watched the Rocky series a whole lot of times. How many times? Hell, I don’t know. Count to ten. Maybe more.
I even enjoyed the first Creed movie – but CREED II sucked out loud. Sure, all of the Rocky movies ever made were just pulpy escapist boxing movies. You want to watch Sylvester Stallone and make those twitchy little shoulder moves that grown men do when they are watching a pulpy escapist boxing movie. I mean, this isn’t classic cinema. The Rocky series is all about coming out of the movie and heading for a tavern and feeling good about the whole experience.
But CREED II just plain sucked.
For starters, it was like they were trying to reboot ROCKY 4 – the one where Apollo Creed got killed in the ring by a ten foot tall Russian boxer by the name of Ivan Drago – (Dolph Lundgren) – and then Rocky booked a revenge match with Drago only he had to fly to Russia to fight it. Only first he had to create a homemade training camp in a Russian bed-and-breakfast being watched by a pair of KGB guards. Rocky chopped down half a Russian forest and did Roman sit-ups and Bruce Lee Dragon Flag sit-ups. Then he did military presses with Paulie and Adrian and half of a small Russian city sitting on a donkey cart. Then he outran a Mercedes Benz being driven by those Russian KGB watchdogs and ran up a snow-covered mountain range until he reached the top and he stood up there and shouted “DRAGO! DRAGO! DRAGO!” until those three dragons (named Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion if you REALLY need to know their names and are too damned lazy to Google) from Game of Thrones shivered in their sleep and screamed themselves awake yelling out “ROCKY, ROCKY, ROCKY!!!”
Now that is freaking entertainment.
So CREED II decided that they were going to reboot ROCKY 4. Well, the line they used was they were going to make a movie that portrayed the sins of the fathers. Or it might have been the sons of the fathers. None of the actors were all that much into articulating their dialogue. I mean, I know that they don’t have all that much articulation to live up to when they are standing on the same sound stage as Rocky “Yo, Adrian” Balboa – but I really had a hard time understanding what half of them were saying.
I had a real beef with how they portrayed Ivan Drago. I mean, Dolph Lundgren has some serious acting chops, even though he mostly made a career out of being a muscle-bound hero in a whole lot of Grade B pulp movies. You see, Ivan Drago wasn’t really allowed much in the way of dialogue beyond him telling his son “You got to kick Rocky’s ass – I mean Adonis’s ass – I mean, shit, don’t let me down, boy.”
I would have rather seen that Drago had learned a bit from his experiences and was just doing his best to raise his son properly. But instead, he was all – “Don’t be a wussy candyass, train like I taught you and beat the shit out of Stallone, I mean Rocky, I mean Adonis Creed.”
Then they spent way too long dragging out all of Adonis’s family problems. First off he couldn’t figure out how to propose to Valkyrie, I mean Tessa Thompson, I mean Bianca. At the same time they keep reminding us viewers that she is going to deaf and I guess that might ruin her singing career, only she gets pregnant and then everybody is worried that her baby is going to be born deaf because deafness is hereditary – or that’s what she tells her husband – because I guess they got married sometime in the middle of the movie only I forget because by that point I just really did not freaking care.
Anyways, Apollo Creed’s (he’s dead, remember?) son Adonis Creed fights Viktor Drago (Dolph Lundgren’s son) and Adonis gets the shit kicked out of him only Drago hits him one too many times for the ref’s liking and gets disqualified so there has to be a rematch.
Which is pretty much how Rocky 4 went, only it was Apollo Creed who fought Ivan Drago who killed him, so there couldn’t be a rematch, only Rocky stepped in and demanded that rematch with him standing in for Apollo.
Fuck yes, a revenge flick.
To make it even more of a Rocky 4 reboot they decide that the rematch has to be fought in Russia? Nobody says why. They just say okay, it’s got to be Russia.
So then, just like Rocky in Rocky 4, Adonis had to train himself in a remote location, only they had already gone with a Russian location – so to be different Rocky drove Adonis out into the middle of the freaking desert where a bunch of postapocalyptic looking boxers were training out there with absolutely no equipment.
I mean, instead of a heavy bag they had a bunch of truck tires strung together. And when they worked out with a sledgehammer they just pounded the desert floor, because all of the truck tires were busy being used as punching bags.
So Rocky drove around the desert making Adonis run after his car, which is kind of like roadwork without the road.
I’m pretty sure I caught a glimpse of the meth lab motor home from Breaking Bad or that might have just been some sort of a weird acid flashback.
So then the two of them step into a transporter and Scotty beams them over to Russia where Adonis and Drago fight their big rematch and Rocky stands around wearing his hat and trying to look like Heisenberg meets Mr. T and then the movie ends.
Now, I have heard that Stallone has sworn a sacred vow to never portray Rocky again. I have also heard that they are hoping to make another Creed movie eventually, in which Creed is going to fight Rocky’s son or else maybe the ghost of Adrian or even better the ghost of Paulie.
Either way, this one really bit the biscuit. And I am talking moldy, cockroach infested biscuits.
I am so glad that I just borrowed this movie from the library instead of buying a DVD copy.
Because it really, truly sucked.
Yours in Storytelling,