It's big on surprises.

It’s been more than 30 years since Soviet boxer Ivan Drago pounded Apollo Creed to death in “Rocky IV.”

Now, in “Creed II,” Drago’s back, with his son Viktor, who, like Dad, is built like a towering brick wall. Creed’s son, Adonis, is now heavyweight champion of the world, and the senior Drago pushes for a championship battle between the two offspring.

Stuck in the middle of all of this: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), who beat Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) at the end of “Rocky IV” and is now the trainer for Adonis (Michael B. Jordan). Rocky can see that Viktor (Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu) is a beast, and he worries that Adonis could suffer a similar fate as his old friend Apollo. But Adonis is driven to prove himself a champ among champs. (Besides, there wouldn’t be much of a story here if Adonis responded: “Yeah, Rock, I think you’re right. I’m gonna pass.”)

“Creed II” is not big on surprises. There’s the expected fall and rise of our hero Adonis; the expected support from the older, wiser, mellower Rocky; the expected personal details thrown in – some involving Adonis’ singer girlfriend, Bianca (Tessa Thompson). There’s the usual heavy-duty training montage, of course, and more than one trip to a cemetery for a chat with a loved one.

Somewhat of a surprise is that, as the story unfolds, you actually feel some sympathy for both Dragos and come to an understanding of what drives their obsession with winning. You still want Adonis to give Viktor a whupping, of course, but the Dragos seem much more human than some of the previous cardboard “Rocky” villains like Mr. T (“Rocky III”) or Ivan Drago in his youth.

Mostly, though, “Creed II” is cinematic comfort food. You know what you’re getting, you enjoy it for the most part (especially if you like boxing or underdog stories), it won’t leave much of a lasting impression.

Stallone’s Rocky character, who first hit the screen in 1976, continues to age well, which might be this ongoing ring saga’s greatest triumph of all.