Creed II 4K/Blu Ray Review (Warner Bros)
Creed II is a 2018 drama film directed by Steven Caple Jr (Class, The Land, & Grown-ish). It was co-written & produced by Sylvester Stallone (Rocky franchise, Rambo franchise, The Expendables franchise, & Cobra). It’s a spin off of the Rocky series & a sequel to 2015’s Creed. It’s produced by Ryan Coogler (Creed, Black Panther, & Fruitvale Station). Several characters from Rocky IV return to the Balboa universe in this sequel. The budget was $50 million & it grossed $213.4 million worldwide at the box office. 3 years after a major loss, Adonis Creed (played by: Michael B. Jordan from Creed, Fahrenheit 451, Black Panther, & Fantastic Four) is on a winning streak with trainer Rocky Balboa (played by: Sylvester Stallone from Creed, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Escape Plan 1/2, & Backtrace). He gets a shot at WBC World Heavyweight champion Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler (played by: Andre Ward from Creed) & he wins the belt. After that, he proposes to his girlfriend Bianca Taylor (played by: Tessa Thompson from Creed, Thor: Ragnarok, Westworld, & Annihilation). She is also pregnant with his kid. They both fear the child will have hearing problems like their mother. They decide to start a new life in Los Angeles & leave Philadelphia. That also means leaving Rocky Balboa behind because he doesn’t like to travel. Ivan Drago (played by: Dolph Lundgren from Rocky IV, Aquaman, The Punisher, & Universal Soldier franchise), the boxer responsible for killing Adonis’s father Apollo is now training his own son Viktor (played by: Florian Munteanu).
Promoter Buddy Marcelle (played by: Russell Hornsby from The Hate U Give, Fences, After the Sunset, & Get Rich or Die Tryin’) shamelessly convinces Viktor to challenge Adonis for “Creed vs. Drago II” with the belt on the line. Ivan confronts his old nemesis Rocky about the fight but he wants nothing to do with it. Adonis asks Rocky for his help on the upcoming fight but the legendary boxer refuses to do it & tells him that he’s making a huge mistake. Apollo’s widow Mary Anne (played by: Phylicia Rashad from Creed, The Cosby Show, Empire, & The Wiz) is worried about Adonis doing the exact same thing as his father. Adonis recruits Tony “Little Duke” Evers (played by: Wood Harris from Creed, The Wire, Ant-Man, & Paid in Full), the son of his father’s trainer as Rocky’s replacement. He is cocky & he goes into the big event unprepared. Viktor dominates & embarrasses him the whole time before getting disqualified. Adonis ends injured really bad after the fight. The whole world considers Viktor the real champ after it. He is a hero to Russia & his mother Ludmilla (played by: Brigitte Nielsen from Rocky IV, Cobra, Beverly Hills Cop II, & Red Sonja) finally accepts him. Adonis’s confidence is gone & he starts to doubt himself. Mary Anne brings in Rocky to fix the situation & bring her son back. He agrees to train Adonis but it has to be his way or nothing happens. Adonis has a chip on his shoulder & something to prove to the world so he agrees. “Creed vs. Drago III” ends up a blood fest & great performances from both fighters!!!!
Creed II is basically a re-imagining of Rocky IV. I had no problem with that considering that was my favorite film in the entire franchise. It’s very similar to that sequel & carries that same vibe that it had back in the day. It’s just a updated version of it so it works here. I love the fact that they brought back one of best villains ever Ivan Drago in this! When it was announced I was geeking out about it. They gave him an amazing backstory & it really filled out his character. Dolph Lundgren gives one of his best performances in Creed II. Florian Munteanu was good casting, he definitely reminded me of his on screen father. Michael B. Jordan & Sylvester Stallone both have their roles down so perfect that you love watching these characters continue their story. It also had a top notch supporting cast which elevated the overall production. This follow up is more about the drama than the actual boxing but it actually draws you in more & gets you fully invested into Apollo as he goes on this journey for redemption. It was well written & every major role had a nice finish at the end. I really hope that they keep doing these films because gives life into a classic franchise for a new generation, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Bros! This 2160p (2.40:1) transfer with Dolby Vision & HDR10 is very impressive. It’s honestly the only way you should be watching this feature. It blows away the standard blu ray & DVD! It has a nice atmosphere & the locations really stand out. It has a variety of audio options which include English: Dolby Atmos, English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1, & Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 on the UHD disc. The blu ray has an additional English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 option. It has a nice boost in the home system. The dialogue is crystal clear, all the action in the ring is elevated, & the music sounds great here! Both the score & soundtrack are top notch for this. It also has English SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, & Swedish subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Warner Bros on the blu ray, none of them are on the actual 4K disc. 4 “Deleted Scenes” that are about a total of 10 minutes include “Rocky’s Eulogy for Spider Rico”, “Max’s Cheesesteak Restaurant (Extended)”, “Rocky Trains Kids”, & “Locker Room”. “Fathers and Sons” is a little over 7 minutes. It has interviews with actors Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, director Steven Caple Jr, various boxers, & crew from the production. They chat about the relationship between fathers & sons. Especially in boxing, they mention how rough it is. They talk about the project. They bring up what the characters go through in this. “Casting Viktor Drago” is almost 6 minutes.It has interviews with director Steven Caple Jr, actors Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Florian Munteanu, Tessa Thompson, & others. They chat about the search & finding the iconic villain’s son. They talk about Florian Munteanu’s performance & how he was perfect for the role. Dolph Lundgren says he could legit ally see him as his son. “The Woman of Creed II” is almost 6 minutes. It has interviews with director Steven Caple Jr, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, actors Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, & Phylicia Rashad. They chat about their characters & the important roles they play for Creed. They talk about the two women bonding more on this feature compared to the first one. It brings up all the situations they are dealing with on Creed II. “Rocky’s Legacy” is 15 minutes. It’s hosted by actor Dolph Lundgren. It has interviews with director Steven Caple Jr, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, actors Sylvester Stallone, Phylicia Rashad, Tessa Thompson, & various members from the production. They chat about the classic original film, first few sequels, & Creed. They talk about the Rocky Balboa character, his friends/family, & the iconic music. They bring up the most memorable villains from the series especially Ivan Drago. They mention the impact it has had all over the world, It also has a slipcover, digital code, & a blu ray copy of the release. It’s available in several different formats including blu ray & DVD. It’s out right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!