soupydoupyy’s review published on Letterboxd:
Rocky Balboa was such a perfect ending to the series, but I had confidence that Coogler would be able to make a fitting installment to reinvigorate the series.
Yes, Rocky is still fighting. He's not in the ring, but he is always fighting. Pauly is gone, and I like that movie D much as it saddens me. Rocky needs to be completely down for the addition of Creed to really awaken him in a way that satisfies the narrative.
There are some great nods to the earlier movies. The mention of the third Creed/Rocky fight at end of Rocky III. The "I don't train people no more" line referencing the underrated Rocky V. I love Adrain's, and I hope that someone makes that an actual real life restaurant, if no one else does, I will. Of course the most heartbreaking nod is the inclusion of Sage Stallone's picture with his dad. Sly says this movie helped him get over Sage's death, and it comes off in his performance.
And Michael B. Jordan makes for a great new leader of the franchise. Like Rocky, he's soft spoken. Quite. Sincere. Yet he has a fiery passion underneath. Tessa Thompson is the true revelation, and I can't wait to see where her character goes in the inevitable sequels.
The end of fight boxer isn't a truly memorable or charismatic character but I don't think he needed to be. It would've distracted from the story methinks. However, like Jordan said in a recent interview, I look forward to a new eccentric boxer for the sequel.
It absolutely fits into the Rocky series. I've especially grown to love the franchise here recently, and I'm so glad it's good. I knew it would be. Every Stallone performance as Rocky is special and this one especially special. Who would've thought the Rocky character could be seen in this way?
I'm glad. I'm glad the Rocky series is still going. We are all underdogs throughout our lives, no matter what happens. No matter how many ups we have there will always be downs, and it's nice to see someone else fighting onscreen throughout life as we do.
And when the Rocky theme cues?
You'll be flying high.