Sylvester Stallone Nails a Touching Deleted Scene in Creed II
It gives both Rocky and another pivotal character a proper goodbye.
Sylvester Stallone more or less announced with a very, very heavy heart that Creed II would be his last foray in the Rocky Balboa franchise that he started with the 1976 original movie and has kept up for more than four decades. If it is his swan song, it’s an effective one indeed, passing the torch to Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis “Donnie” Creed. But it could’ve been even more effective, especially as a tribute to Stallone’s Balboa character, with this powerful scene left on the cutting-room floor.
The deleted scene in question, which is included on the recently released Blu-ray edition of Creed II, shows Stallone’s Balboa delivering a eulogy at a nearly empty memorial service for his old foe-turned-friend Spider Rico (Pedro Lovell). If you’ve forgotten your Rocky history, Spider was Rocky’s first opponent, seen in the early scenes of the 1976 classic. The character had an encore in 2006’s underrated Rocky Balboa, working in Rocky’s restaurant Adrian’s.
The two-and-a-half-minute scene may have been considered not quite swift or action-based enough for the final edit of Creed II, but for die-hard Rocky fans, it’s a blessing. It relies exclusively on the acting abilities of Stallone, who is (as always) at his finest embodying his boxer alter-ego. Balboa’s words here not only reflect on Spider’s journey, but also on his own embattled life inside and outside of the ring. Stallone gives them just the right amount of touching wistfulness.
“I remember you saying that you had this daughter, but you couldn’t remember where she lived because of all the shots you’d taken. I get that,” Balboa says standing by his buddy’s casket. “So me and the cooks, we become like your family. You know, in the ring, you got rules. Outside in the street, you got nothing. And life hits you with all these cheap shots, a lot of low blows, and you take ’em and move on. I’m sad you’re gone, cause you’re like my last friend from the old days. But I’m glad too, ’cause I know wherever you’re going it’s gotta be better than where you’ve been.”
If these are indeed Rocky’s final words on the screen, they’re a fitting goodbye.