In “Creed II,” Michael B. Jordan reprises his role as Adonis Creed (née Johnson) alongside Tessa Thompson as Bianca, Phylicia Rashad as his mother, Mary Anne Creed, and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa. (Ask your parents about the latter if you aren’t familiar, they’re more than likely to know.) In the first “Creed,” Adonis (or Donnie for short) has made a name for himself as a fighter, despite being the son of the legendary boxer Apollo Creed. Now, Adonis has many choices to make when it comes to upholding and defending his family name.
Philadelphia’s hometown hero, Rocky, continues to take Creed under his wing as he battles other contenders for heavyweight champion of the world, a title he eventually wins. But, when it comes to fighting Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago who gave Adonis’ father a fatal beating decades ago in “Rocky IV,” Rocky (who is lovingly called “Unc”) isn’t too sure that Adonis should go for it, fearing that history may repeat itself. The women in Adonis’ life aren’t very sure either, as now-fiancée Bianca and his mother only want what is best for him. Adonis, however, is very hell-bent on keeping his legacy alive, and won’t go down without a fight. But, what happens when the pressure becomes too much? Adonis chooses to go to battle, no matter the consequence, and the consequences initially aren’t very pretty.
Creed isn’t the only one who suffers parental issues this time around. He never knew his father, and his father died before Adonis was born, due to the aforementioned fight. Viktor shares a loss as well: his mother. Not due to death, though, but to loss of respect for her husband, Ivan. Ivan fuels the fire in Viktor as he fights Adonis, feeding him with negative energy in order to defeat his opponent, for good. Ivan essentially lives vicariously through his son, to let him finish the fight that he began almost thirty years ago.
Adonis suffers an ongoing crisis throughout the film. Should he toughen up and handle situations like a man, or to allow himself to be vulnerable? His title as heavyweight champion is at stake, as well as his new family’s well being. Bianca and the newest addition to the Creed family, little Amara, teach Adonis a thing or two about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. Though he pushes away those who care about him, he soon realizes that the only way to truly be a winner is to have his loved ones by his side.
Amariyah, 17, is a senior at DeKalb School of the Arts and wants to remind everyone that the “B” in Michael B. Jordan stands for “bae.”