If you’re looking for a movie to take the family to see this Thanksgiving, look no further than “Creed II,” the latest installment in the “Rocky” franchise.
A full trailer for “Creed II” dropped Wednesday afternoon, and if the two-and-a-half-minute video is any indication, this franchise — which began all the way back in 1976 with the original “Rocky” — has not lost its intensity or heart.
“Creed II” continues the story of Adonis (Michael B. Jordan), the son of the late boxer Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), a character who appeared in the first four “Rocky” films.
In 2015’s hit film “Creed,” Adonis convinced an aging Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to train him. “Creed” was essentially a modern version of the original “Rocky,” and it went over well with audiences as it earned over $109 million domestically on a $35 million production budget.
“Creed II” finds Adonis’ success as a boxer and a man challenged when he goes head to head with Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), a Russian fighter driven by hate and anger for both Adonis and Balboa.
Viktor is the son and trainee of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lungdren), the same man fans will recall is responsible for the death of Adonis’ father — an event shown in “Rocky IV.”
There is no franchise around that is more uniquely American than “Rocky.” The original films showed the journey of a man who worked hard, put blood, sweat and tears into his passion, and accomplished the American dream. Balboa is a character who defended hard work, perseverance, ambition, and patriotism through each and every “Rocky” movie — the last one with Stallone as the lead was 2006’s “Rocky Balboa.”
“Creed” was an updated version of that story, focusing on a new generation of fighter and man as Stallone’s Balboa moved into the background more and took on the role of trainer.
A franchise shouldn’t work this well after a whopping seven movies, but this one does. “Creed II” will mark the eighth movie in the series, and it looks just as good as the best “Rocky” installments.
A lot of divisiveness and aggressively political works are coming out of Hollywood today, but the “Rocky” franchise should give people hope. These movies are gritty, but they have kept the heart of the franchise alive by remaining a series that celebrates individualism and the American dream.
Be sure to mark November 21 on your calendars, because that’s when “Creed II” drops in theaters.
“Creed II” was directed by Steven Caple Jr. and written by Sylvester Stallone and Juel Taylor.
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Check out the trailer for the film below: