I just had to share this review with you all. You might have seen me retweet this on my twitter page. Here's in the tweet you can click on it to see the review in Cosmopolitan. It's interesting that they typical readership of Cosmo would even be interested in a boxing film.
So, #Creed2 is enjoyable and all, but I finally had to come to terms with how the franchise - in particular, this film - enables toxic masculinity at the detriment of its female characters. My latest for @cosmopolitan: https://t.co/JD7h0MA8bF— Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker) November 20, 2018
However the review for Cosmo that I just became aware of recently turns this film as an enabler for toxic masculinity.
It’s a boxing movie that we’re told has “heart,” a word coach Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) uses a lot in the film. "Listen to your heart," he keeps telling Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), who’s determined to defend his championship from Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), whose father Ivan (Dolph Lundgren) defeated Adonis’ dad in the match that killed him back in 1985’s Rocky IV. Adonis has some seriously unresolved issues about how his father’s death permanently devastated him and his mom Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad) and attempts to use this fight with Viktor to settle a score.I'm going to assume the "toxic masculinity" of the movie is bad for the women most affected here. Mother is concerned about her son and his wife is definitely concerned about her husband. Well the family drama is important, but then the other side of the movie is the drama that takes place for the boxers once they get into the ring.
So right away, the two opponents—Adonis and Viktor—are established to have major daddy hang-ups. Viktor is also fighting to reclaim the title for the sake of his dad, whose own was stripped by Rocky himself in 1990’s Rocky V. This means everything that happens in Creed II is dependent on how these two male fighters choose to define their own machismo and protect their paternal legacies. Even Rocky talks about his estranged relationship with his son. These themes of masculinity are so oppressive that they relegate everything else that happens in the film—including the fact that Adonis and Bianca (Tessa Thompson) are expecting a baby—to the background.
I wonder if it's ever understood that a man feels as if he must handle his business. Sometimes a man might let something slide, however, in the case of boxing why should he stand down from a guy boasting that he won't lose. Perhaps Creed needed to get back into the ring and prove something. Somewhere out there and under different circumstances (and yes not exactly within the context of competitive sports) a man is facing similar situations.
What this writer might neglect is what I was able to deduce in this movie. Viktor Drago is with his father Ivan at a dinner to celebrate their boxing successes. It gets somewhat marred when an elegant blonda haired woman enter the dining room. As it turns out it's Viktor's mother and Ivan's ex wife. After the events of Rocky 4 (1985) Ivan's life unraveled and that woman played by Brigitte Nielsen in both films left Ivan and his son. So now I understand why Viktor seemed upset and let his father know what's up. And matter of fact Ivan tells him what happened Ivan lost!
I won't give too much away, but once the fight is over I began not to be surprised at what happens near the end of the movie. Especially with the background I gave you, although I've yet to really fully watch Rocky 4 which I concluded years ago was probably the beginning of the Rocky franchise jumping the shark.
All the same, this toxic masculinity, where is it here?
If you haven't seen it do so here's a trailer to get you excited. [VIDEO]