Rocky fans can punch the air with glee – Creed II’s latest trailer has finally revealed footage of Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago, sporting a grimace so familiar it’s like he’s never been away.
The reveal came in our best look at the film yet (following June’s teaser), with the plot of the film pretty much exactly as we expected. Apollo Creed’s son Adonis Creed wants to fight Ivan Drago’s son, Viktor Drago, but no-one else wants him to.
Yep, Adonis wants to fight the son of the Russian boxer who killed Adonis’s dad Apollo in the classic Rocky IV, because of course he does.
The trailer gives us more of the bombshell that Creed has a child of his own, with Tessa Thompson’s Bianca – who will hopefully have more to do this time around – which will certainly add to the stakes of the final fight.
We also get glimpses of Sly Stallone’s Rocky, who’s actually the trailer’s biggest let-down.
After his superb supporting turn in 2015’s Creed, it looks like a case of diminishing returns here; if Stallone spends half the film training Adonis and half the film telling him not to fight Drago, it’s not going to do much to build on his brilliant performance in the first film.
Still, it’s not Stallone’s movie – even more so since he stepped down as director (he was originally meant to replace Ryan Coogler for the sequel) – it’s Michael B Jordan’s, with the break-out Black Panther star as ferocious as ever in a film that looks set to push him to his physical and emotional limits.
If his performance matches the gym preparation he’s put into the role, this could be the first Rocky movie since the first to win an Oscar.
Here’s the official synopsis.
Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.