There's something comforting about Creed II, knowing that it's not powered by the story, but the journey of all the characters and that's what has made the Rocky series continually great and relevant.
All the usual beats are here and fans of Rocky will be happy to see the formula remain the same.
Michael B. Jordan returns as Adonis Creed as he attempts to take on Vikto Drago, the son of Ivan Drago, played wonderfully subtle by both Florian Munteanu and Dolph Lundgren. The entire film is carried by the strength of the supporting cast, which includes great performances by Tessa Thompson and Slyvester Stallone (duh, he's been playing Rocky longer than most people have been alive).
As with any Rocky film, the main character struggles not only inside the ring, but with the reality outside of it.
But while boxing is the climax of the film, it's the different tales of fatherhood and being a parent that that works best. It's sacrilege to say boxing is the least important part of the Rocky series, but in this case, it's true. It may not be as strong as the first Creed film, directed by Ryan Coogler, but it still feels like a Rocky film.
Also in theaters this week is Ralph Breaks the Internet, the Wreck-It Ralph sequel.
Wreck-it-Ralph was the perfect mix of heart and nostalgia when it hit theaters. It helped usher in a new era of Disney animated movies, a resurgence that gave the world Frozen, Zootopia and Moana.
Six years later and it feels like Ralph Breaks the Internet is the beginning of a new Disney trend, subpar sequels to great stories.
The movie follows Ralph as he treks across the internet to find a part for his best friend Vanellope’s racing game. But things get complicated when Vanellope starts to feel at home on the world wide web, leaving Ralph to question the future of their friendship.
The movie is a fun time at the theater. Kids will enjoy it, adults will appreciate it and people obsessed with internet culture will love it. But other than that, it lacks the heart of the original.
It’s so wrapped up in looking cool and referencing things like YouTube stars, Disney princesses and memes, it loses focus of what made Wreck-it-Ralph so good. There are characters that are left by the wayside, so audiences can enjoy a few Marvel and Fortnite jokes.
Like the internet, Ralph Breaks the Internet is entertaining but doesn’t have much substance. It’s a movie that, unfortunately, became dated the moment it hit theaters.
Hopefully, Frozen 2 can let go of the need to show off and focus on making a movie that makes revisiting these worlds worth it.