By Linley McCord
This is the movie that you didn’t want to see initially but heard surprisingly good reviews about. The critics are right: “Creed” is actually an impressive film. After everyone thought the “Rocky” movie franchise had run dry, this latest installment proves the masses wrong.
You meet a young Adonis – who is clearly his father’s son. Apollo Creed’s blood runs through the angry elementary schooler, but Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) reigns in the tendency to fight in his adulthood – spending workdays as a financial advisor and weekends in the ring. Of course, he wants to fight more than he wants to sit at a desk. He heads to Philly to find the legendary Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).
He convinces the famous boxer to train him, albeit reluctantly. Adonis befriends his musical neighbor, Bianca (Tessa Thompson), and they almost immediately kick off a romance, which comes as no surprise. Adonis and Rocky are approached by the manager of a major boxer, Ricky Conlan (Tony Dellew) in the UK for a showdown in Liverpool. Obviously, Adonis accepts and the film climaxes with the fight between Adonis and Ricky.
Plot-wise, the movie is solid. The progression of events makes sense, isn’t too far-fetched, and holds nothing back in terms of the storyline, the fighting, and the characters. While the three musically-backed training montages felt a little redundant, it did help to build suspense and excitement for the impending fight in Liverpool.
Honestly, though, the characters made the movie. Jordan does an excellent job of portraying a young boxer in an identity crisis – the struggle between claiming the infamous name of Creed without getting lost in that legend. You’ll want to be in his corner.
Stallone owned his role: the hardened boxer, reluctant to climb back in the ring, and obviously carrying his own demons. The dynamic between Stallone and Jordan is flawless, both professionally and personally.
There are serious callbacks to all the other “Rocky” movies that fans of the franchise will appreciate, but the movie is pretty easy to follow if you’re new to the series.
It gets a strong 8/10 for being an excellent film.