By Allison Skornick-Rose
Mar 04, 2019 09:43 AM EST

Creed II 4K Ultra HD Review

Jordan is one of Hollywood’s hot, young actors and it’s easy to see why here.  We see his inner struggle and feel his pain right along with him.
Creed II 4K Ultra HD Review
Purchase  Blu-ray | Digital HD
In 1976 Rocky was released in theaters and made a household name of Sylvester Stallone (First Blood).  It spawned five sequels and has become one of the most iconic boxing movies of all time.  It also gave us one of the most recognizable soundtracks in movie history.  In 2015, after a nine-year hiatus, audiences were treated to the next chapter in the saga when Rocky Balboa took on a new challenge by training his best friend's son, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan; Black Panther).  This past Fall the second film, Creed II, made its way to theaters and is now heading to stores for purchase on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.

Adonis (Donny) has made it to the pinnacle of the boxing world as the world champion.  He also proposes to his girlfriend, Bianca (Tessa Thompson; Thor: Ragnorak) and they find out they are going to have a baby.  Life couldn't be better until Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), Ivan's (Dolph Lungren; Universal Soldier) son – yes that Drago who killed Apollo Creed in the ring – issues Donny a challenge. Donny decides to fight Viktor but it doesn't end up the way he thought and he winds up in a hospital bed with broken ribs and a bruised kidney.

Physically, mentally and emotionally broken, Donny seems to be pushing everyone away.  However, he needs to fight again to retain his title and now he has to prove to the world, and himself, that he really deserves it.  He finally summons the courage, with Rocky's help, to challenge Drago again – this time in Russia – and sets off for some unusual training.  When the time arrives to fight it looks as if the match it going to be a repeat of their first meeting but, of course, Donny rallies and comes back strong earning back the respect he felt he lost when Drago knocked him out the first time.

Jordan is one of Hollywood's hot, young actors and it's easy to see why here.  We see his inner struggle and feel his pain right along with him.  Stallone tends to mumble through his lines and doesn't show the same range of emotion he did in the first Creed.  Thompson is a solid match for Jordan and Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) is perfectly cast as Donny's strong-willed, straight-talking mother.  Lundgren adds a nice element to the mix but Muteanu seems to grunt his few lines with only one emotion – anger.

The 4K Blu-ray is presented in Dolby Vision high definition video quality with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio.  The visuals are decent but nothing really spectacular and there isn't much that is outstanding to write about.  The Dolby Atmos audio, on the other hand, is nearly perfect with the exception of some of the sound mix. There are times when the dialogue is softer than the soundtrack so I found myself adjusting the volume a few times.  The quality though is spectacular and showcases the rap-heavy soundtrack beautifully. The extras aren't plentiful but are interesting enough.  They include Deleted Scenes, "Fathers and Sons", "Casting Viktor Drago", "The Woman of Creed II" and "Rocky's Legacy". The latter is a nostalgic stroll down memory lane and reminds us of the rich and wonderful legacy of the Rocky series.

Creed II seems to be a mixed bag – some good moments, some…not so good.  The character development of Donny is enjoyable and well done but some of the story is cheesy and reminiscent of the formula that was established early on in the Rocky Series.  There is also the cringe-worthy moment when Donny (spoiler alter) wins his fight against Drago as the Rocky theme plays in the background.  Love it or hate it, f you are a Rocky fan or a boxing fan (which I am not) you will want to add this movie to your collection.

Grade: B-

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