Creed II: The Return of [SPOILER] Explained

Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Creed II.

Creed 2 sees the return of an iconic character from the Rocky franchise: Rocky’s son Robert Balboa Jr., played by Milo Ventimiglia. The story of Creed 2 once again follows Adonis Creed’s (Michael B. Jordan) boxing career and life, and it is usually up to Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to mentor him. The movie is full of familiar faces from the Rocky franchise, but it’s Creed 2‘s surprise final appearance of Robert that is most surprising.

One of the biggest elements of Creed II is its focus on father-son relationships. The sequel features the highly anticipated return of Dolph Lundgren as Russian fighter Ivan Drago from Rocky IV and he brings his son into the story here. Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) challenges newly crowned champion Adonis to a fight that will serve as the second coming of the Creed/Drago fight that both of their fathers had in the 80s. Ivan and Viktor are close throughout the movie, while the same dynamic between Rocky and Adonis isn’t as smooth. Rocky doesn’t agree to train Adonis for the initial fight, causing the relationship to be broken for several months, until they mend the fences to work together for the second fight (after the first did not have a proper ending). Adonis and Rocky do defeat Viktor and Ivan, but only because Ivan throws in the towel.

Related: What Creed II Doesn’t Tell You About Rocky IV

The result of the fight forces Rocky to finally summon the courage to do what he’s wanted for years. At the end of Creed 2, he is shown getting out of a cab and proceeds to knock on the nearby house door. A young boy by the name of Logan opens it, but its who comes next that surely elicited some excitement from fans. Milo Ventimiglia makes his return to the franchise as Rocky’s son, Robert Balboa, Jr. Robert and Rocky have not seen each other in years, making for an emotional reunion as they embrace and Rocky is welcomed into his son’s home.

Robert and Rocky’s reunion is the culmination of a story almost 40 years in the making. Robert was born in Rocky II and supported his father in Rocky III and Rocky IV. The most notable evolution of their relationship came in Rocky V when they started to grow apart; this was the direct result of Robert being jealous of Tommy Gunn and the attention that Rocky was giving him. Robert started to do some light boxing as an avenue to try and grow closer again to his father, but Rocky continued to push him aside in favor of Tommy. The separation and burden of being Rocky’s son grew even more in Rocky Balboa, which is where Milo Ventimiglia made his only prior appearance as the character. They appear to end on rather good terms as they visited Adrian’s grave together, but it wasn’t sustainable it appears.

Creed established that Robert left Philadelphia and moved to Vancouver to start a new life. Rocky says that the reason for the move was to get out from under the shadow of being the son to Rocky Balboa. As Creed 2 explores, Rocky has had a difficult time finding the words needed to talk to his son after all these years; he explains that he’s on several occasions dialed Robert’s phone number but then hung up before he could answer. The sequel even shows an example of this after Rocky visits Adonis in the hospital, but he once again can’t bring himself to actually call his son. In the end, though, Rocky goes much better than a phone call and makes the trip to Vancouver to have a face-to-face reunion.

Even though we only get to see a snippet of Robert and Rocky’s reunion, it looks as though they are finally on the path to restore their relationship. If Creed III does happen, then there is a chance that the franchise may actually get to show Robert and Rocky on good terms.

More: All 8 Rocky & Creed Movies Ranked – From 1976 to 2018

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