There’s a lot to say about CREED II so we’ll start with this: GO SEE IT!
Due in theaters on November 21, the sequel satisfies all the curiosity the original film left open when it ended. The movie, which tugs at some emotion you didn’t even know you had, is complete as it ends the Creed/Rocky vs. Draggo saga and opens up a door to a new beginning for Adonis Creed (played by Michael B. Jordan).
Long story short, Creed II is kind of like a flashback to decades ago when Apollo Creed was killed by Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) who was later put to shame after losing to Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) who actually co-wrote the new script with Juel Taylor. Drago senior had been training up his son Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) for revenge that consisted of winning over the young Creed. Creed agreed with hopes to rewrite history but it came with a few strained relationships – not only with Rocky, but with his “Philly jawn” Bianca (Tessa Thompson) who he ended up marrying and having a child with.
Jordan’s passion, of course, elevated the experience so much so, it was easy to forget that it was just a movie. The storyline paired with his tears, stares into space and jerks to punches in the ribs all seemed so real. So real, it served lessons in faith we can all take note from.
Keep reading below for five lessons we took from Creed II and check out our exclusive photos (by @Artugrpahiq) from the red carpet premiere in New York City!
1. Faith It Til You Make It
Adonis may be hard-headed, but he’s got heart and he knows that nobody’s going to believe in your talents if you don’t believe in yourself. Sometimes you have to claim it even when the future looks impossible. That was the case for a health issue with his daughter. In those moments when you feel yourself panicking, talk to God. He already gave you His word – you just have to give Him your heart. Prayer changes things.
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
2. Cheaters Never Prosper
What’s done in the dark always come out to light. Drago junior realized that when he threw a low-blow he thought would end Creed but kind of destroyed himself in the process. The phrase, “No man can take away what God has for you” played out two ways here: 1. Creed’s victory was written before Drago tried to tear it apart and 2. Drago didn’t get his fairytale ending, but he did gain a new bond with his faither (cue Drake’s song “God’s Plan”).
Proverbs 13:5 “A righteous person hates deceit, but the wicked person is shameful and disgraceful.”
3. Identify What You’re Fighting For
In life, if you can’t pinpoint what you’re fighting for, then you’ve already lost. In Creed II, Adonis entered the first fight trying to prove a point to others instead of taking a real look at things that could affect him directly. Once he realized what he had to lose and identified what fueled his passion, he entered the fight the second time with a clearer mind. Sometimes the enemy throws monkey wrenches in situations to confuse you, but we don’t serve a confusing God and he doesn’t give you more than you can handle. Sure, things get tough and might even break you, but you’re still here! When you find yourself flustered and all over the place… take a step back, put on the armor you were gifted with and quit wasting energy over things you can’t control.
Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
4. There’s Freedom in Forgiveness
Look at your pain, accept it, release it and move on with or without the subject. But don’t be so stubborn; it’s a sign of pain you may be choosing to ignore and you’re the only one it hurts in the end. Adonis almost didn’t want to forgive Rocky for not approving of the dangerous fight he was about to enter but he pushed through. The Drago men tried forcing a tainted relationship with their first lady, but it was dead. Once they moved on, their relationship as father and son became stronger. They, whoever “they” are, say forgiveness doesn’t excuse behavior, but it does prevent behavior from destroying your heart. Let go and let God.
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
5. The Comeback is Always Stronger Than the Setback
Between his wife and daughter’s health, pain from growing up without his father, taking care of Rocky, endless days of recovery & training and dealing with the battlefield in his own mind while the world watched, Adonis was presented a lot of unfortunate opportunities to throw in the towel, but he didn’t. Reality check: Life is hard, but it can be full of beautiful rewards if you stay the course. One bad chapter doesn’t have to end your story and disappointment is not an excuse to give up. The struggle you’re in today is preparation for the bigger picture.
1 John 5:4 “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”