The connection to established characters and settings adds to the emotional weight of the film. The central theme revolves around family, as the main character struggles with the legacy of his father. The father is not featured, although the audience is already familiar with the character through previous movies, strengthening our connection to the relationship. While focusing on establishing a new generation of characters, Creed manages to develop older characters further, and add more depth to their arcs without detracting from the present story.
My discussion can be encapsulated by looking at the climax of Creed. The emotional payoff found would have been triumphant regardless, but the return of Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now” makes it feel that much more fulfilling. A balance is struck between both the old and the new, making this installment feel worthwhile.