Sunday, February 17, 2019


Welcome to the fifth installment of #StalloneMonth, which I have to say, is my favorite time of the year! In this period, over the span of four or five weeks (depending on the dates), I review Sylvester Stallone movies. This has been a fun project, and I will keep on going until I run out of movies to review! So here comes year five!

The continuation of award winning re-booth of the famous Rocky series, about Apollo Creed's son, who seeks out Balboa as his mentor. In this movie, Adonis Creed has the chance to go up against Ivan Drago's son Viktor, and since Ivan killed Apollo in the ring, Adonis feels that he cannot refuse the fight.

Alright, this review might not be so fresh, but it came out in January in Hungary, and even then I was forced to watch it with dubbing, so give me a break here... Nonetheless... never in my life have I cared so much for boxing, as I do, when I watch these movies. Every time I think I cannot be surprised anymore, that I know what is going to happen, the movie takes a different path, a less cliché and life-like path that leaves me without words. This movie was excellently written. Even if you expect for Adonis to win, for example, the writers don't throw twists and turns at you, they just show you his thoughts and his process, and that is the unexpected part. The scenes have a raw reality to them instead of being bait for tears. I just loved this movie from beginning to end. And this will contain a lot of spoilers, because I want to go into detail.
First off, the rawness of the script, as I said. Second, this was not the story of one boxer, it was a chapter of the life of at least six people, and how they have to deal with an old chapter of their life that was reopening without their will, whilst everything else was moving ahead. And I didn't feel that these stories were fillers, nor that they didn't add to the overall story. I felt like I knew the main characters through a couple of short but strong scenes. And then three, the characters we already knew: Rocky and Drago. I am from Hungary, we were invaded by Russia, this country knows and understands that pressure of the Cold War that Drago was put under, in the story of this movie. He claims that he was kicked out, and just remember the jokes people made at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, that now the Russian team will disappear because they lost? The reality behind those jokes was clearly portrayed in this movie. Drago wants to get his life back so bad that he almost sacrifices his son over it, and to me, the greatest scene of all was when Drago decided to throw in the towel and tell his son that it was OK to lose. He gets to this realization that their relationship is more important than the place where they live, and I have found that truly smart. In the end, he trains with his son instead of training him. Rocky, of course, was himself, and he was more of a background character, but he was used very wisely. I did not mind, that this movie was indeed about Creed. But he was around when he had to be.
Finally, the new characters. Needless to say, Jordan and Thompson are obviously outstanding actors, their chemistry and interactions were honest and moving. The person that surprised me was Florian Munteanu, playing Viktor Drago, someone, who despite two scenes, does not utter a single word, and still conveys just as much emotion as everyone else. I was just mesmerized, by how well I could read his thoughts, feelings, movements, simply by him playing with his eyes and facial muscles. I just... I loved this movie, really, I mean, it was nothing that I thought it would be, and then it was everything I wanted to see and expected after the first, and they f*cking delivered.

Watch it? This was a simply wonderful sequel, and I was scared about what to expect, because even today, with the great quality movies made out there, sometimes a sequel can be forced on us for no reason. Just like the original Rocky series, each new movie ads something to a larger picture, instead of being a drawn out drama fest... and this is a great movie on its own too: that is how you know if its a good sequel.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Adonis Johnson - Michael B. Jordan
Rocky Balboa - Sylvester Stallone
Bianca Tessa Thompson
Mary Anne Creed - Phylicia Rashad
Ivan Drago - Dolph Lundgren
Viktor DragoFlorian Munteanu

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