The Rocky film franchise continued last year with a tempting battle between Apollo Creed’s son and Ivan Drago’s son. The blockbuster now punches its way onto ultra-high definition home theater realms in Creed II (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, rated PG-13, 128 minutes, 2.39:1 aspect ratio, $44.95).
The tale of the tape finds a disgraced Victor Drago (Dolph Lundgren) who killed Apollo Creed in the ring and ultimately lost to Rocky) years later training his son Viktor (Florian Munteanu) for a fight that could redeem his status with Russia.
Michael B. Jordan shines again as Adonis Creed, and goose bumps will rise during the pair of scenes where Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) encounters Ivan especially in the champ’s restaurant Adrian’s.
Suffice it to report, Mr. Stallone’s Rocky has aged gracefully, now as wise as Yoda, and although unwilling to commit his prodigy to battle young Drago early on is equally unwilling to abandon him after Adonis takes a beating.
Loaded with heart, family, emotion and redemption, “Creed II” does the Rocky legacy proud.
The 4K truly highlights the impeccable fight choreography throughout. Viewers will feel every uppercut and body blow (as each droplet of sweat and blood flies from the opponents), especially when enhanced by that bass-thumping Dolby Atmos sound mix.
Best extras:Viewers get four featurettes roughly 35 minutes in total — but no optional commentary track.
The longest featurette of the bunch is a quick overview of the Rocky franchise hosted by Mr. Lundgren. It includes interviews with the “Creed” stars: Mr. Stallone, announcer Michael Buffer and boxer Sugar Ray Leonard.
The remaining trio covers the woman of “Creed II” (Tessa Thompson as the wife of Adonis and Phylicia Rashad as mom Mary Anne Creed); the casting of Mr. Munteanu as Viktor Drago; and a look at the father/son relationship in the films, including an interview with a real father/son boxing team David Paul and fighter David Mijares.
Also worth a look, especially for nostalgic fans, is a deleted scene where Rocky eulogizes one of his opponents Spider Rico at his funeral. Viewers will fondly remember he faced the boxer in the first movie back in 1976.
• This story originally appeared in The Washington Times.