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‘Creed II’: When Confronting Your past Is the Victory You Need Most

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"Creed II" reminds us that we each have our own boxing rings and opponents to contend with, but none so much as our own willingness to engage them.


Rarely does Tinseltown so perfectly depict the raw, real, riddled journey of confronting one’s past. But that is exactly what “Creed II” manages to do, making the unprepared viewer acutely relate—teleporting them right into the characters’ proverbial shoes—to the inevitable rugged emotional journey taken when one is determined to confront areas of past pain.

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From Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures “Creed II” is the next chapter of the Adonis Creed story, which follows the young boxer’s life inside and outside of the ring as he deals with newfound fame, family, his father’s legacy and his continuing quest to become a champion.

And it’s that quest, baggage and all, that is refreshingly relatable. Just like Creed, we all have parts of our life that we would rather forget, and for some, entriely avoid. But the heart isn’t as easily convinced, it yearns for reconciliation, redemption, forgiveness, acceptance, validation no matter the distance that tries to consume it or the heights climbed to silence its beating voice.

CREED II

And just like Adonis, the higher we climb, the voice beckoning for our past pain to be confronted only speaks louder, begging. We can relate to Adonis who should be on top of the world—but instead, he’s struggling to reconcile the doubt he feels on the inside with the acceptance and adulation he’s receiving from the world. As the illegitimate son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed—who died in the ring before he was born—Adonis is grappling with his legacy and life in the celebrity spotlight. Despite his success, Adonis is afraid of not living up to expectations, especially his own. He questions his abilities, and wonders if he’s fought the best and is worthy of being a champion.

It’s not long before an opponent steps forward who forces Adonis to confront his doubts and answer those questions: a young, undefeated heavyweight contender, Viktor Drago (Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu)—son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the Russian boxer who killed Apollo in the ring three decades earlier—publicly challenges Adonis for what the boxing world labels a historic next-generation “Creed vs. Drago” showdown.

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For Adonis, who wants to avenge his father’s death, taking on Drago’s son in a hyped-up title bout is more than just a fight. But for Rocky, who fears that history will repeat itself if these vengeance-seeking sons square-off, there’s much more to lose than just a title.

And it’s that perilous journey, intent on vengeance and validation that “Creed II” embodies the universal human story—one anchored in victory. Throughout it’s true to life depiction, “Creed II” walks us through the haunting depths of the past, forcing us to confront the rage, injustice and fear of it all in an effort to seek that promised higher place.

A journey as timeless as man and as precious as rubies—”Creed II” reminds us that we each have much to gain by looking back in order to propel forward. We each have our own boxing rings and opponents to contend with, but none so much as our own willingness to engage them.