Film Review: ‘Creed’ is a Champion in the Rocky Balboa Legacy

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CHICAGO – This is what happens when passionate filmmakers come into a known movie project – with an obvious love for the previous stories and characters – and create a new chapter that both evolves and honors its source. “Creed” does all of that, and gives the beloved Rocky Balboa one more time in the spotlight. Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Writer/director Ryan Coogler – with screenwriter Aaron Covington – are the creators, taking the universe of Rocky Balboa (the opening scene of the first film takes place 40 years ago today, on November 25th, 1975, and includes six previous films) and expanding it with the story of Adonis Creed, the son of Rocky’s first opponent, heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. The approach is straightforward and clean, borrowing from Sylvester Stallone’s last outing as the Rocky character, “Rocky Balboa,” and adding the Adonis situation to the mix. Director Coogler also used some unexpected tools in his filmmaker’s arsenal to generate his own mark on the series, while venerating what came before in an almost perfect tribute.

Adonis Johnson (portrayed as an adult by Michael B. Jordan) is first introduced as a foster child, whose anger is realized in constant fighting. He is rescued from this circumstance by Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad), the widow of heavyweight champ Apollo Creed, who died in the ring. Johnson is the illegitimate son of Apollo, but the widow adopts and raises him as her own.

Even as an adult, the fighting spirit never leaves Adonis, and he becomes a boxer to seek connection to Apollo. He quits a high level job, and moves from Los Angeles to Philadelphia to find Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), to solicit him as a trainer. The reluctant ex-champion is guilty about Apollo’s death, and at first doesn’t want to do it. But there is a redemption necessary for both men, as they come together to try to eradicate past sins within the confines of the boxing ring, and resurrect the newly minted Adonis Creed.

“Creed” opens everywhere on November 25th. Featuring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad and Tony Bellew. Screenplay by Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington. Directed by Ryan Coogler. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Creed”

Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone
Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) and Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) in ‘Creed’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Creed”

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