Goodbye Rocky Balboa

When it seemed that the Rocky Balboa saga was no longer giving itself, the African-American director Ryan Coogler took it upon himself to collect all his heritage and update it to give it a new meaning according to the new times. The result was Creed (2015), a film deeply respectful of the original material but permeated by a young and fresh energy that connected with the spirit of survival of the new generations.

Now Creed II: The Legend of Rocky is released, in which we retrace the footsteps and evolution of Adonis Creed on his way to fame as a boxing champion after being trained by Rocky Balboa. When it seemed that he had finally found the necessary peace to calm his inner demons, a ghost from the past will knock on his door: Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), who killed his father, Apollo Creed, in the ring and seeks revenge on Balboa. for having humiliated him in his native Russia, using his son Viktor as a vehicle, whom he has turned into a real killing machine.

The film thus dialogues directly with Rocky IV (1985) and represents the recovery of Dolph Lungren in a role that has given him the opportunity to further develop his character. “30 years ago I only said one sentence: I’m going to kill you,” jokes the actor during a visit to Madrid to present the film. «Drago has become an outsider after his defeat. He lost everything and has raised his son in hate. If Rocky IV was a film orchestrated around the confrontation between Russians and Americans in the Reagan era, this time there is no hint of patriotism or politics.

Ryan Coogler was unable to take over the project as he was immersed in the making of Black Panther, but he handed over to a young director. “When you come to a saga with such a defined scheme, it is difficult to introduce your personal touch,” Steven Caple Jr. tells EL PERIÓDICO. «But I have tried it while keeping the essence intact. It was a difficult and at the same time intimidating process to maintain that balance.”

Among his contributions, the director is proud of having managed to turn the male and female characters around. “No macho, no cool, confident guys. Adonis is full of insecurities, he is fragile and sensitive. However, Bianca (Tessa Thompon) is tougher, says her opinion, she has her life and her professional career. He was clear that he did not want a female character to be the main character’s support, but to have her own entity independent of him.

In addition, he tells us that his greatest achievement is being able to have started the film with a shot that is totally outside the schemes of the saga, since it follows the character of Ivan Drago and his son Viktor, the antagonists.

Michael B. Jordan returns to put himself in the shoes of Adonis Creed becoming one of the most coveted young faces within the new black star system. «We have to take advantage of this moment of emergence of African-American cinema, and we have the responsibility to do it well to facilitate the task of those who come after, just as the generation of Spike Lee has passed the baton to us and has contributed to making it easier for us. us,” says the actor.

Creed II: The Legend of Rocky does mean Sylvester Stallone’s definitive farewell to the saga that he himself created in 1976. If Richard Linklater has been able to capture the passage of time through the eyes of a child, Stallone has managed to x-ray the changes your country has gone through in the last 40 years. Each Rocky movie has been the daughter of his time and now in the background in Creed says goodbye imprinting his personality. It does so through those great reflections by the light of a street lamp about life and the blows we receive in it, but also turning this last episode into a Shakespearean tragedy about cursed inheritance and guilt, about children that have to be made responsibility for the mistakes of their parents, which ends in a tender embrace of reconciliation.

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Goodbye Rocky Balboa

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