In Creed, we have a new chapter of the Rocky franchise, a time to make way for the next generation in the form of Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis. One question we may ask ourselves, do we really need another instalment to ruin the memory of this cult classic?
The late World heavyweight Champion, Apollo Creed, had an affair before he died and Adonis was the end result, being born after Creed’s death in the ring. As a young child, Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never knew who his Father was and lost his Mother, spending his time in care and young offender’s institutes for his fighting. It would seem Adonis was born to fight. After much searching, Apollo’s wife, Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashid) takes Adonis under her wing and brings him up, in Hollywood with a privileged life, as her own and making sure he knew exactly who his father was.
As an adult, Adonis, against Mary Anne’s wishes, decides boxing is his true calling and heads out to Philadelphia to find Rocky in the hope he can convince Balboa to train him. After many years away from the profession and with age taking its toll, Rocky reluctantly agrees to train this angry young man who thinks he has something to prove. All the while Rocky is battling his very own fight of his life.
When you take out where the Rocky series of films went wrong and strip it right back to its roots as Ryan Coogler has done with ‘Creed’, you get that raw and realistic tone of this 80’s classic but for the modern generation. Layered with its visual grey undertones any fan of this franchise will be transported back in time.
With no real professional fights under his belt and because of his famous name, Adonis lands himself a fight with the disgraced English boxing champ ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlon (played by English pro boxer Anthony Bellow) in England in his hometown of Liverpool at Goodison Park. Giving Adonis his chance to make his own legacy and step out of the shadow of his Father’s memory. Of course, there has to be a love interest and that comes in the form of Bianca (Tessa Thompson), Adonis’s noisy neighbour and musician who just happens to be losing her hearing. Thompson also performs original music she penned especially for Creed.
Coogler, having worked with Michael B. Jordan on Fruitvale Station, has brought in Jordan to play Adonis, even though he lacks a similarity to Carl Weathers, Apollo Creed, Jordan’s angry and heartfelt performance shines throughout. He is full of arrogance and anger which instantly makes him an unlikable character but as the story develops, Stallone’s Rocky and the audience get to delve into his inner being giving its audience that connection to his character. To add to the reality of this film, Stallone finally comes into his own at the age of 69 in an extremely moving performance.
Creed is out in UK Cinemas 15th of January 2016