Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) is a young man with a troubled childhood. Going from group homes to foster care, he felt he was always having to fight to survive. After learning about his father, Apollo Creed, at a young age, Adonis taught himself how to box growing up. Now as an adult, he decides he wants to train professionally and he seeks out the one man who not only knows a lot about boxing, but was great friends with his father before he died, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a movie with the Rocky label that wasn’t actually about Rocky. Sure Rocky is in the movie, and he plays a big role, but Rocky isn’t the star. In fact, Creed feels like the 2nd coming of Rocky as Adonis fits the “Rocky” character as Rocky himself becomes the trainer. In a way, the torch is being passed and a new generation of fans will get to enjoy entertaining boxing movies.
In terms of a movie, Creed seems to feel much like the original Rocky movie. Adonis is regular guy trying to make a name for himself against a global juggernaut in Ricky Conlan. The hard work and lessons of discipline are front and center. Stallone brings Rocky’s lovable charm back without stealing the show. Creed is still all about Adonis and his achievements as Rocky becomes the mentor. At Stallone’s age, that’s exactly where this franchise needed to go (if it really needed to go anywhere at all.) Creed is everything you would expect from a reimagining of Rocky and it delivers.
I have 2 minor negatives with Creed and one isn’t even its fault. Another movie in 2015 named Southpaw is about boxing and has a similar story, except in that movie, it was about a guy who fell from grace and attempted a comeback. Creed is simply a rags-to-riches story, however, the boxing action felt similar to that of Southpaw. Which leads me to my 2nd minor issue and that is Creed lacks unique memorable scenes. Nothing I can think of makes Creed stand out from the other Rocky movies or any other boxing movie. What is special about Creed? I really can’t find an answer to that. Sadly, that means this movie will be forgotten because nothing about it will stay in people’s minds. It needed a hook that would have people coming back to it especially if there could be more, but I don’t know if it will have that kind of impact.
All in all, Creed is a movie that feels a lot like Rocky without it being about Rocky (even though Rocky is in it… HAHA). It is a movie that is well made and will entertain boxing fans. Stallone and Jordan have good chemistry together and the acting is pretty decent. My only quibble with the movie is that it needed something to set it apart from Rocky and other boxing movies, but I don’t think it did that. Some might not care, but others may ask, “Why should I see this?” and I honestly can’t answer that. If you are looking for sports entertainment, than you can’t go wrong here. Co-starring Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Tony Bellow, and Ritchie Coster.
7/10 Stars – Even if it has little “new” to offer, Creed is a Rocky for this generation.