Surprisingly, Ryan Coogler’s Creed was one of 2015’s best films. The emotional punch packed by the cinematic underdog—a series reboot that also served as the seventh installment of the 42-year-old Rocky franchise—can’t be understated. Alas, the 32-year-old wunderkind who wrote and directed Creed went on to even greater success as the man behind Black Panther. With Coogler unavailable to helm Creed’s inevitable sequel, one might worry that this film would be the embarrassing rehash expected in the first go-around. But that would be for naught. Although the movie’s not the perfectly calibrated surprise that Coogler’s was, and the sequel’s workmanlike director, 30-year-old Steven Caple Jr., doesn’t quite have the knack for finding fresh ways to keep the boxing exciting. When your lead character, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), is the son of the late Apollo Creed, the former nemesis-turned-best friend of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone)—Adonis’ boxing coach—the last thing any good writer would want to do is borrow even more characters and a plot from a lesser Rocky sequel. But that’s exactly what happens in Creed II as Caple turns to 1985’s Cold War parable, Rocky IV. Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren)—the Russian boxer who killed Apollo during an exhibition fight that Rocky failed to stop—returns to have his adult son Viktor (Florian Munteanu) reclaim his family’s honor in a match against Adonis. Despite this, the returning cast is superb, even if the film isn’t quite a knockout. Watch it at Assembly Row, Boston Common, Fenway, Seaport, South Bay and in the suburbs. Watch it at Assembly Row, Boston Common, Fenway, Seaport, South Bay and in the suburbs.