My Review: Creed

Photo: Chris White
Time to step back into the world of Rocky Balboa – well, sort of.
Ryan Coogler’s Creed follows Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) and his quest to become a world boxing champion. Adonis had a tough upbringing. The film opens at a juvenile detention facility where a young Adonis is doing time. After Adonis is involved in a fight in juvie, a lady named Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad) takes him in and raises him. The film fast forwards 17 years when we see a grown-up Adonis taking part in boxing matches in Mexico while working a desk job in Los Angeles. Unhappy, Adonis decides to quit his job, leave his home and move to Philadelphia to pursue his dream. Why Philly? His father was none other than Apollo Creed, champion boxer and friend/rival to Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). Adonis finds Rocky in Philly, who’s now retired from boxing and owns his a restaurant. The two strike up a friendship, culminating in Rocky training him. Turns out that friendship would mean so much more for the both of them.

In full disclosure, I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the Rocky films coming into Creed. But that’s okay because this film takes on its own identity. Creed is undoubtedly a more gritty and intense film than any in the Rocky franchise. At its core, however, is the principle of family. The importance of having family around you whether that “family” is a friend, a significant other, what have you. For example, the film juxtaposed two people – Adonis and Rocky – who have experienced major loss in their respective lives. We learn that Apollo’s death in a boxing match against Rocky (as seen in Rocky IV) came before Adonis was born. Adonis wants nothing more than to follow in his late father’s footsteps. As for Rocky, he doesn’t have much family left and many of his friends have since passed away. He’s not involved with boxing anymore which, you can tell, takes a toll on him. The two are brought together through miraculous circumstances and find this ideal of “family” in each other. That was what I liked most about the film. My only knock was it did have some cheesy moments, like the ending for example. In an effort to not spoil it, the ending pays homage to the Rocky films of yesteryear and I was torn as to whether it was good or cheesy. Go see the film and you’ll see what I’m talking about. All in all, Creed was definitely enjoyable to watch. No doubt, a dark horse in the Golden Globes and Oscars races this season.

I Give It A: B

Check Out The Trailer Here

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