Creed II – Enjoyable sequel that brings nothing new to the table, but still hits all the dramatic cues which made previous films in the Rocky franchise so successful. Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) has ascended to the top of the boxing world, but no sooner has he claimed the championship title that an unscrupulous boxing promoter announces he has found the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren’s Russian character in Rocky IV) and challenges Creed to fight. Turns out an angry, bitter Drago has been shunned by Russian society since his loss to Rocky Balboa and has poured all his hatred into his son Viktor. The challenge stirs up the identity issues of Adonis’s past as well as the memory of the death of his father. Rocky, recalling the death of Apollo Creed in his hands, refuses to train his young protege for the fight but the stubborn Adonis pushes forward. Of course he is beaten to within an inch of his life. On the mend, he pleads with the Italian Stallion to show him how to fight the bigger, stronger Viktor Drago which all leads to a penultimate showdown. Creed II isn’t as strong and energetic as the first Creed film, but it still features strong production values, stirring fight scenes and a few moments of humor. Sylvester Stallone not only appears in the film but also co-wrote the screenplay which, while overly familiar, still carries a fair amount of emotional heft. You’ve seen it all before, but if you liked the previous Rocky movies, there’s no reason not to like Creed II.