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  • Awesome Music: The use of DMX's "Who We Be" in combination with the classic Rocky theme near the end of the second trailer is incredible to say the least.
    • Just like Ludwig Göransson's track from the first film, "You're a Creed", this film's score track "It's Your Time" utilizes the famous riff from "Gonna Fly Now" and does so in a more prominent manner compared to the previous film.
    • "Drago's Walk Out", which plays when Viktor walks into the arena for the final fight, is a pretty epic orchestral piece.
  • Cliché Storm: Several critics knocked the film for having a completely stock plot for the franchise, in stark contrast to the refreshing new approach of the first Creed, calling it an obvious consequence of Ryan Coogler not being behind this one.
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  • Contested Sequel: Opinion is divided between whether this film is a worthy follow-up to the the first film, or too reliant on retreading the usual tropes of past Rocky films. On the other hand, this movie is considered an Even Better Sequel to Rocky IV, in part due to the Character Development of Ivan Drago.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Inverted for the Dragos. It seems pretty depressing that both father and son have lived the last 30 years in shame and poverty, and have now lost their chance for redemption all over again. However, they've both learned that they no longer need the approval of the oligarchs. What's more, now that Communism has collapsed, they can actually enjoy the earnings from Viktor's two superfights, which surely number in the tens of millions of dollars, so they could both comfortably retire if they wished.
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  • He Really Can Act: Dolph Lundgren’s return performance as Ivan Drago has been praised by fans and critics for successfully humanizing a character who was previously seen as a walking comic book supervillain.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In Rocky IV, Drago always yelled "I MUST break you." Turns out there was indeed a hell of a lot more riding on that match back then that ruined Drago today. He really HAD to win that fight at all costs.
    • The boxing matches during the movie are covered by HBO Sports boxing program. At the end of 2018, during their year end boxing broadcast, long time HBO commentator Jim Lampley announced that HBO Boxing was coming to an end, and along with his broadcast partners, Roy Jones Jr. and Max Kellerman, give their final tearful goodbyes as they play a video montage of the programs best historical fight highlights and broadcast moments.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
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    • This is the second time in a row in 2018 that Michael B. Jordan’s character goes up against the son of the man who killed his father, only this time he’s the hero instead of the villain.
    • One of Creed's rivals in the films is a light heavyweight boxer named Danny "Stuntman" Wheeler. The character is played by once super middle weight and light heavyweight champion Andre Ward, who retired from boxing undefeated. But in the film, he finally suffers a loss, to Creed.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Ivan Drago. His life pretty much fell apart after losing to Rocky, culminating in his wife Ludmilla abandoning him and his son. It’s heavily implied in the film that the immense pressure he puts on Viktor to become heavyweight champion is not just to restore his lost honor and reputation but also in the hope it will bring Ludmilla back.
  • Memetic Mutation: The initial poster made Jordan look like he had a ridiculously high fade, which prompted a lot of jokes about stupidly tall hairdos.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Adonis' first fight with Viktor and his injuries in the aftermath, including a concussion, several broken ribs and a ruptured kidney. It draws plenty of uncomfortable parallels between the match that killed his father thirty years prior. Furthermore, while recovering from said injuries, we see him at one point urinating blood. The only consolation is that unlike his father, he's still alive to fight him again.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Ivan Drago was frequently viewed by fans as the symbol of when Rocky dipped far too much into silliness and being a fairly one note villain in general. One of the things the film is praised for is humanizing the character and consequently making him far more interesting and tragic.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Some viewers found themselves rooting for Viktor in the fight against Adonis, noting his tragic backstory and the fact that fighting is his only way to climb out of poverty as significantly more sympathetic motive than Adonis' need to prove himself. This is helped by many thinking that Adonis acted more of a Jerkass to Viktor than Viktor himself did to Adonis.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Adonis' rise to championship and victory over "Stuntman" Wheeler could have been its own film, rather than simply the start of his battle with Viktor.
  • The Woobie:
    • Adonis and Bianca, in the aftermath of his initial failed, brutal match with Viktor and upon learning that their newborn daughter is deaf. There's also the scene where the former is looking at a recording of the match where his father died, only for him to shut it off when he can no longer stomach viewing it.
    • Viktor Drago, who was abandoned by his mother when he was young, forced to live in poverty and basically raised from birth to go through Training from Hell via his father, who is still embittered from his loss three decades ago and all that it did to their lives. And he meets up with his mother and her new, wealthy husband in between the two matches who expresses her pride in him, only for her to abandon him again when he's about to lose the rematch.

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