Creed II (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Creed II 4K ReviewWhere do I even begin here?  I don’t want to bore my readers over and over talking about how much these Rocky franchise of movies adoringly mean to me.   They are absolutely everything to me!   They are my main sources of both perseverance and inspiration in life.  One could even them call them my soundtrack for success, but I digress.  If you’re interested in knowing the full story, you can catch up here and here on all that monkey business.  Instead I want to keenly focus on the continuing storyline of Adonis Creed (Jordan), which coincidentally also involves the legendary character of Rocky Balboa (Stallone).  However, the latter is just the icing on the cake.  Whereas the first film in the “Creed” series, also titled Creed, was very much an origin film of this character Creed II plays out as a throwback to an older Rocky sequel (we’ll get more into that down below).

Creed II Movie Review


Make no mistake about it Creed II was my most anticipated film of last year.  Three years since the last entry, Creed, has felt like an eternity.  And for anyone keeping track Creed II is now the eighth installment in the Rocky film series.  It stars Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren, Florian Munteanu, Wood Harris, Russell Hornsby, Andre Ward and Phylicia Rashad.  The main difference here is the fact that Ryan Coogler did not return to direct, but Stallone did for duties on this entry (along with Juel Taylor).  Steven Caple Jr., whose big screen credits really only include 2016’s The Land, steps in to take control of the directing reigns here.  You’d have to be clueless to not know that the film obviously follows Adonis Creed’s pursuit to defeat the son of Rocky IV‘s Ivan Drago (Lundgren), the Russian boxer who killed his father, Apollo, in the ring more than 33 years ago.

Before we talk about what goes down in Creed II let’s quickly recap the events that unintentionally (unless Stallone knew back then this movie would be made or had access to a time machine) set this film all up.  Of course I’m talking about the year 1985 and the movie Rocky IV.  In it Russian boxer Ivan Drago stunned the world by killing former U.S. champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in the ring at an exhibition match held in my beloved Las Vegas.  One could say Apollo had it coming to him with his larger than life ego and taunting of the Russian boxer, but oh wow was that tragic to witness as a kid back in the 1980’s.  Rocky Balboa went on to eventually take down Ivan in one of the most unbelievable boxing matches ever.  Rocky V even starts off with the titular character suffering brain damage from that match (nobody can take the punishment Rocky does in it).

Fast forward now to 2018 and in Creed II Adonis accepts a challenge from Drago’s son to meet in the ring.  He is portrayed by Florian Munteanu and is even more dangerous looking than Dolph was back in the day.  As you can imagine this is going to come against the wishes of his trainer, Rocky.  He must now prepare Adonis for the fight of his life.  Also, just like in the first Creed, we have parallel hero journeys here as you can call this one very much a shared legacy.  The past of both Rocky and Adonis come back to haunt them.  If they want to be triumphant, they must confront their pasts head on.  After all it’s not like Rocky and Drago became respectable friends after their last bout (their first shared scene here together is so tension filled).  In essence each man is facing their worst nightmare here again and for Rocky it’s like living that nightmare twice so to speak.  Like in the Star Wars films where Luke most face his father this one is all about destiny or the hero’s journey as us writers like to call it.

In preparation for my first screening of Creed II last year I went back and revisited 2015’s entry again.  Since this was my most anticipated film of 2018  I wanted everything to be completely fresh in my mind so I could really take it all in.  Truth be told I’m still saddened that Stallone didn’t take home an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in that one, but I digress.  However, I’m pleased to report that Stallone is equally as powerful in this one, but more so from a truly supporting character.  The spotlight is shining brightly on Mr. Jordan here more than ever.  There’s also nothing new or anything that’s going to top any other sequel that has come before, but really just more the same good stuff that makes this franchise a literal knockout.  It’s very much a formulaic Rocky entry, but like The Force Awakens was to Star Wars fans this is what we Rocky fans needed all along even though we didn’t really know it.

Creed II Movie Review

Let’s talk a little bit about this Florian Munteanu guy.  The man is a beast.  What I didn’t like about the first Creed was the fact that Creed’s opponent didn’t look menacing.  He had no muscle tone and quite frankly the smallest chest I ever seen on an athlete.  Fast forward to Creed II here and I would piss my pants if I even had to think about taking a punch from Munteanu.  He would literally break my bones.  This made Creed II that much more tension filled as I’ll be honest with you about something. My body physically hurt after the first screening.  I felt like I was beat up after feeling every punch within my seat that Munteanu landed on his opponents.  I was squirming and his punches were both brutal and lethal.  Therefore, I felt the same fear our hero character does most of the film.  Speaking of brutal punches the fight sequences, choreography and convincible landings were all extremely well done and believable.  It doesn’t hurt either they all landed with a nice LFE punch behind them too.  I’m just saying.

Now we all know although the Rocky films are sports action they are very much drama and most of the times if you’re a sap like me tear jerkers.  The tradition continues here as there are some very tender moments and hard knock life lessons sprinkled throughout.  That’s what I love about those films.  While you’re watching the onscreen trials and tribulations of the characters, both good and bad in this particular entry, it forces you to look within yourself to become the best possible specimen you can be, both physically and humanly.  At least that is what I get out of these.  Sure the boxing sequences are completely unbelievable.  Nobody can take hits like this and keep on going, but the Rocky franchise has always been about perseverance and lessons learned through losing/making mistakes.  Creed II is no different.  Using a Rocky-like metaphor you take all the past Rocky movies and put them into a blender and viola you have Creed II.  The film boasts a family style theme (generational one too) and I was pleased to even see the villains fleshed out and feeling very real too.

I’m quite positive that with what I just covered up above that some critics may even ding it for the fact that it adds nothing new to the overall franchise.  It does however introduce a new training environment so there’s that.  However, at the end of the day it all comes down to your personal attachment with both the franchise and this eighth entry.  Creed II forced me to look within myself, heal my emotional and physical pain I feel from within and ultimately I think I come out this movie a stronger person (hence my inflated film score above).  That’s all that matters to me and I hope it does to you too.  While I feel the first Creed hit me harder I don’t want to make the mistake and say this one wasn’t as good because my very high expectations are still not checked at the door.  Only time will tell as this one is very much about passing that generational torch over to Jordan to shine brightly with.

Creed II Movie Review


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Warner Bros’ Creed II.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Despite the many dark and dimly lit scenes there is detail to be found in this 4K upscale, but mainly in the textures such as the leather in a punching bag and training straps or rubber in automobile tires being pushed. It’s not jaw dropping though. Closeup moments do reveal the finer things like beads of sweat, stubble, wrinkles, moles and more.
  • Depth: Depth in the overall image looks pretty good here with many examples to write home about from the city streets and boxing ring to even an exclusive dinner scene for the soon to be world champs in Russia.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are dark and natural, but that’s not saying much because much of the images throughout are dimly lit. I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s never inky or deep like I love them.
  • Color Reproduction: The style and colors in the cinematography here change throughout depending upon the location. Everything is a bit dark, but this one keeps the very natural aesthetics of the first Creed movie in balance throughout here. Probably my favorite eye popping scenes would be the ones in the pool underwater. The gorgeous blue water is eye popping and mesmerizing.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones all look natural, pleasing and authentic throughout.
  • Noise/Artifacts: With the exception of some banding here and there things look pretty good with no other nasty artifacts to ruin your viewing enjoyment of the presentation here.

Creed II Movie Review


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Warner Bros’ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Creed II.  I do want you to know that the  4K UHD Disc comes armed with a Dolby Atmos surround track while the 1080p Blu-ray comes repackaged with its original DTS-HD Master Audio one. Just an FYI as I mentioned in previous Warner Bros. 4K releases you must select the Dolby Atmos track from the main menu. It originally defaults to a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English Audio Description Track, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Dynamics: The dynamics thrive with wide channel separation here. There are some really cool moments to be had here, but they mostly revolve around the matches and training montage. Outside of those sequences this film is primarily a drama and while the quite, tender moments are rendered near perfection here there’s just not too much to write home about. The Atmos presentation does give the audio space a lot of room to work with here over the DTS-HD one.
  • Height: This is not the greatest use of Atmos here, but you at least get the arena experience with high ceilings and plenty of room to breathe. Examples of uses where the height channels are employed include score, soundtrack moments, underwater, the announcer, training montage, fire/flames during Drago’s entrance and more.
  • Low Frequency Extension: Remember those quiet moments I mentioned up above? Well those all go by the way side when there’s action, primarily punching for clarification. This is a sports boxing film after all. The punches and blows land with the utmost of authenticity and oomph here. Ludwig Goransson’s score and the rap infused soundtrack also thump things up. One of my favorite LFE moments though has to be the stomping crowd. I love it whenever crowds get rowdy and involved.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Crowds, voices, the swimming pool, training moments, fights, etc. are all moments of when you’re engaged and in the middle of things. Outside of these kind of moments are where you’ll feel a bit front heavy in the track, but it’s to be expected. There’s a lot of drama here. One of my favorite rear channel moments is when the rap song during the main training montage jumps around the individual channels. In my opinion that is a wicked use of channel separation and worth writing home about.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue throughout is always clear and intelligible. No spoken word is lost in the shuffle. You can’t ask for anything more there.

Creed II Movie Review


This 4K Ultra HD disc release of Creed II includes the theatrical version of the movie in 4K on the UHD disc, as well as in 1080p HD on the included Blu-ray. I’m sorry to say folks but there’s no audio commentary and all five of the supplemental materials are only found on the Blu-ray Disc. In addition you’ll also find a Digital Copy code good for the film in what shows as VUDU and Movies Anywhere. At the time of this writing only the VUDU side was accepting the code. So without further ado lets take a closer look at the five extras housed on the Blu-ray Disc. Thankfully they all have a somewhat hearty run time and not just under 5 minute long EPKs we’re all used to.

  • Fathers and Sons (HD, 7:16) – This one is all about the father/son relationship that’s the theme throughout this entire film. It was interesting to learn how Dolph was pitched to come back and resume his character thirty years later. This one also explores real father and son relationships in the ring and outside of it. For Adonis’ journey here its a different one as his real father is not there.
  • Casting Victor Drago (HD, 5:43) – The cast all chime in how big Florian is here. Ha ha. Like Dolph he also knows how to fight. Stallone is a child hero so its cute to hear Florian kind of get giddy about that fact. The challenge with him was to make him have control and not actually hit the person. LOL.
  • The Women of “Creed II” (HD, 5:51) – Like the father and son extra up above this one explores the mothers and wives of real boxers. Phylicia Rashad and Tessa Thompson chime in here about their characters and relationships in both Creed films. It also explores the music Tessa’s character makes in the movies. You can tell that both of these women really appreciate being part of this franchise. I love that!
  • The Rocky Legacy (HD, 15:01) – Determination, family and boxing…the themes of all these films continues to capture the hearts and ignite passion amongst fans as explored by our narrator Dolph Lundgren. We go over a lot of important stuff here like the heroic music, the Rocky philosophy and themes, locations, inspiration, the villains (we spend a lot of time on Ivan Drago for some reason LOL), relationships, the sport of boxing and more.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 9:46) – There are a total of four sequences to be found here and are as follows: “Rocky’s Eulogy for Spider Rico,” “Max’s Cheesesteak Restaurant (Extended),” “Rocky Trains Kids” and “Locker Room.”

Creed II Movie Review


I just can’t give you enough reasons why Creed II is a MUST-SEE, MUST-OWN 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release for me.  It’s a very personal choice and cherished franchise for me. The films mean the world to me and for the life of me I cant wait for the first six Rocky films to come home to the 4K format either (the first movie on iTunes doesn’t count or cut it for me). This movie is all about the heart and story for me. So I wouldn’t concern myself with a 4-star video score or the fact that its light on extras. I would be buying this for the story itself and the pride in owning it on the best possible format and presentation…that being 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. It’s almost like you don’t even need a reason, huh? Ding! Ding! Fight!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


Creed II

Punches It Out on 

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

March 5th




Creed II 4K Cover


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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