Creed II: in this sequel to the storied franchise spin-off, Steven Caple Jr. forgoes meaningful human relationships and tells a tired, old story of sport revenge, sprinkled with faux-inspirational mumbo-jumbo thrown in for good measure. It doesn’t help matters that most of those come out of the mouth of Sylvester Stallone, in one of the most wooden performances envisionable; in fact, between him and Dolph Lundgren, there’s not a single well-done emoting. Florian Munteanu is not any better, but all he is asked to do is to look buffed and throw punches. Luckily, Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson both form a nice-looking couple and can act, even if they aren’t given much by the writing. The main character is given such an unattractive arch, it ends affecting the emotional connection with him and the story. As a result, even the boxing matches, which are visually unimaginative to start with, turn into a drag, since there’s no investment in their outcome. The work of director of photography Kramer Morgenthau, in general, is competent but unremarkable.
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