The Rocky Balboa spin-off Creed came out this weekend, starring an all star cast. Including, Michael B Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, and Phylicia Rashād.
The film captures the essence of the original Rocky Balboa films while successfully placing said tone in a modern setting.
The film starts with 8 year old Adonis Johnson in juvenile hall. The first time we see him, he’s in a fight with a much larger boy. He wins the fight, but is taken to holding as a result. There, he is visited by Mary Anne Creed, the wife of the late Apollo Creed. We find out that Adonis never knew of his father and that he is the product of an affair. Through an act of unconditional love and kindness, Mary Anne offers to take Adonis in and raise him, as his mother is dead and he has no other family.
From their we see Adonis’ journey as a fighter. Despite having a lucrative marketing job, he takes parts in underground brawls. He quits his job, wanting to becoming a fighter full time. As he feels the need to make something more of himself.
Despite Mary Anne’s objections, Adonis moves to Philly to find Rocky Balboa, his father’s best friend, in order for Rocky to train him to be a pro boxer.
Creed manages to create an incredibly relatable story that I feel will resonate with many black youths today. Michael B Jordan is charismatic through out. He perfectly displays Creed’s motivation and need to step out of his father’s shadow and as he puts it Start his own legacy.
Jordan and Stallone play well off of each other. With Rocky smoothly transitioning into the role of mentor for Adonis. We see a warm and at some times comical connection between these two characters who are pretty much family. Adonis regularly refers to Rocky as his uncle, even while he is hiding his identity as Apollo’s son. The back and forth between Rocky and Adonis feels like a true passing of the torch. Especially during a scene in which Adonis is out for a run up a sloped road, followed by several local neighborhood youths on bikes. The scene mirrors the iconic scene in the first Rocky film. Where Balboa makes his way up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
In addition to Creed and Balboa, another well written relationship in the film is the romance between Adonis and Bianca, played by Tessa Thompson. Bianca is Adonis’ musician neighbor who has progressive hearing loss. Bianca could have been a none character, only there to serve Adonis’ story. However she is just as fleshed out as Adonis and Rocky. She is also just as important. Creed finds a kindred spirit through her. It’s implied she’s the first girl he has ever been with and their romance feels natural.
Along with a brilliant cast and plot, the dialogue in this movie is top notch with multiple quotable moments.
This movie isn’t just a spin off, it’s a new legacy. Whether he team behind it decide to make a sequel or keep Creed as a standalone film, I feel that it will be remembered for years to come as something great.
If you’re a fan of the Rocky movies or have never seen any of the films before, Creed is a powerhouse film that you should definitely see immediately.