Director Ryan Coogler brought the most logical continuation of the Rocky film screen to life. Using a talented ensemble cast and a film franchise tradition, this story, the movie Creed, is not only the best spin-off movie I have seen in some time but is also a champion standalone story.
Adonis “Donny” Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is the illegitimate son of former boxing Heavyweight Champion of the world: Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). Apollo died before Adonis was born and he became an orphan. However, Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad), the widow of Apollo, adopts him, not wanting him to be punished for Apollo’s mistakes.
Seventeen years later, Donny loves to box and even walks away from a lucrative career in Los Angeles so he can. However, he finds no one wants to train him, knowing how his father died in Rock IV. He leaves home, much to the chagrin of Mary Anne, and heads to Philadelphia. He meets an old friend of his father’s, none other than Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).
At first hesitant, Rocky agrees to take Adonis under his wing and train him for a fight against Heavyweight contender “Pretty” Ricky Conlan (Anthony Bellew) who’s about to go to prison. Meanwhile, Donny meets Bianca (Tessa Thompson), a talented singer who is slowly going deaf. At first, stunned he’s Apollo Creed’s son, she supports him as he prepares to make a name for himself with the help of one of the greats.
As I said earlier, this film was the natural continuation of the original franchise. It is a story told brilliantly thanks to Coogler’s talent as a filmmaker. He brought the franchise to its natural next phase. It was risky, considering how beloved the Rocky series is, but Coogler does an excellent job of creating an emotional and interesting plot that continues the values and traditions of the franchise.
My only complaint was the movie’s pace felt a little rushed in places. It seemed to want to speed up parts to get to the action of the boxing ring, but these were only in certain areas.
As for the performances, no doubt Stallone, Jordan, and Thompson were at the top of their game. I had not seen Thompson and Jordan in too many roles before this, so it was great to see their skills at the maximum. Likewise, Stallone is perfect as Rocky. There is no comparison and his role from champion to mentor in this film was executed perfectly.
Bottom line, I will admit I was hesitant about this movie when I first saw it advertised. Not because I doubted Ryan Coogler or Sylvester Stallone, but Rocky went out on a high note, so it just made sense that it be concluded. However, all my worries evaporated as I watched it. It’s a truly excellent extension of the franchise.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Language, sports-related violence, some innuendo
FAVORITE QUOTE: Time takes everybody out. Time’s undefeated.
Check out the trailer below:
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This article has been updated from a previous version.