– by Joseph Jammer Medina

I don’t know how they do it, but that first Creed film was nothing short of fantastic, and with this new trailer for its sequel, Creed II, hitting this morning, it had a lot to live up to. And yet, it managed to exceed all my expectations. In addition to it retaining that raw style brought in by Ryan Coogler, director Steven Caple Jr. has also ensured this story has just as much at stake than its predecessor — and that’s with the trailer barely even showing anything.

Based on what we’ve seen here, Adonis feels the need to take on a certain fight, despite Rocky’s advice for him to step down. Unlike his opponent, Adonis now has a family and everything to lose, while his opponent does not. Of course, those of us who have been following know who the opponent is: none other than Ivan Drago’s son — the son of the man who killed his father.

Below is the official synopsis for Creed II:

“Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.”

I was sold by the concept, but based on this trailer, the concept matched by the filmmaking and performances. One very telling moment that, I think, proves how much faith the filmmakers have in its audience is that the camera doesn’t linger on Drago’s name for too long, but keeps it on just long enough for us to read, which is a great sign that the film could still bring subtlety. But what did you think? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.