In 2009 many would have thought we saw the final chapter in the life of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa, the Italian Stallion, out of Philadelphia PA who was given a shot to fight the champ Apollo Creed and rose to the occasion. Six years later Ryan Coogler’s (Fruitvale Station) story and Screenplay developed along with Aaron Covington has brilliantly found a way to carry on the mythos and pick it up for today’s generation. While a major part of the picture, our beloved Rocky is not the central figure and this is where the story earns its high marks grafting the story of Adonis Johnson Creed (Michael B. Jordan) into an already legendary story.
Creed opens in Los Angeles in 1998 where we find young Adonis Johnson a resident in the detention center in the midst of a riot giving a boy twice his size the business. It is in solitary confinement of sorts where he is paid a visit that will change his life forever. Coogler’s introduction into young Adonis is very telling and grips you for the entire movie as young Adonis grows into manhood and pursues what compels him, fighting. And it is his passion to fight and fighting by himself and against himself that drives him to chase a dream onward to Philadelphia and throughout the film.
This movie has everything from great performances from Jordan and Stallone including Tessa Thompson (Selma) who plays the love interest Bianca, a local musician whose love for music strikes accord with upstairs neighbor curious yet guarded Adonis. The movie is filled with other supporting actors such as the beautiful and graceful Phylicia Rashad who plays the widow Mary Anne Creed and adopted mother of Adonis. Featured in the film also are boxers Andre Ward and Tony Bellew who I am sure were leaned on heavily to give the film the authenticity needed. Perhaps, the biggest and most surprising supporting actor in this film has to be the city of Philadelphia itself. The film covers every inch of the historic city from food, music scene, its people, and yes its rich boxing history in places like Front St Boxing Club.
What would a Rocky movie be without boxing? Inside the ring of every boxing match you feel every thud of glove finding its target. The positioning each fighter tries to find before ripping a punch puts movie goers into the ring. The addition of each fighter’s stats before they square off against one another is another unique touch to the films fight scenes as the cinematography is reminiscent of EA Sports Fight Night franchise. The build-up of Creed’s experience from seedy Baja California clubs to the Main Event in Liverpool and everything that ensues is a perfectly timed boxing match. The delivery and connection made by the line given by Adonis to Rocky in the final round of the fight literally K.O.’d this writer as I sat stunned by the intense heart of this film. When it comes down to it I suppose all the previous Rocky movies were about heart and this film has a lot of it. There are a number of scenes outside of the ring where I felt touched. I am not alone in thinking that this film will be Sylvester Stallone’s Oscar winning role not only for the performance he gave but the legacy he helped build and is continuing to build.
Creed is the latest chapter in one of the greatest stories ever told in American Cinema and opens today in theaters around the country.
Creed is rated PG-13
To support the film visit you can visit www. Ifightfor.com to show what you fight for!
Personally, I fight for my Family!
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