Rocky Balboa: “You see this guy here? That’s the toughest opponent you’re ever going to have to face. I believe that’s true in the ring, and I think that’s true in life. Now show me something.”
CREED is everything that I hoped it would be.
I’ve been a fan of the Rocky Franchise for as long as I could remember. Rocky 3 is my personal favorite of the series solely because of the scenes with Apollo Creed. I first became a fan of Carl Weathers when I saw him in Predator which led me to the Rocky series as a child. One can imagine my disappointment when [*Spoiler Alert*] he dies at the beginning of Rocky 4.
I was skeptical about a potential “reboot” of the beloved Franchise, but actor Michael B. Jordan and Director Ryan Coolger put those worries to rest early in the film. Jordan reportedly gained 26-pounds of muscle for the role, and it shows. Beyond his convincing physique, his fluidity and viciousness as a fighter is an impressive performance as he transitions from a raw hungry slugger into a well-seasoned pro.
Ryan Coolger’s directing is a feat of its own. During Adonis’s first professional fight the entire match—from the starting bell to Adonis’s final punch—is shot in one single take.
Creed emphasizes the lifestyle of boxing. It’s one thing to pick up some gloves and step in the ring, but another to make a living as a prize fighter. Creed highlights the disparity of Adonis Creed (Jordan) and the fighters that are hungry to win because fighting is all that they have.
We discover early in the film that Adonis Johnson is the illegitimate child of Prize Fighter and Former Champion Apollo Creed. Despite Adonis’ troubled upbringing inside the juvenile system and foster care, he receives a foundation of financial and emotional support from Apollo Creeds Wife, Mary Anne Creed played by the talented Phylicia Rashad. Adonis is educated, financially stable and supported, yet he feels his place in the world is inside the ring. Adonis is meant to be a fighter but due to his father’s legacy and his mother’s influence, no trainer in Los Angeles will touch him.
This forces Adonis to leave his home and move to Philly to be closer to Rocky Balboa.
Rocky (Slyvester Stallone) is at first reluctant to train Adonis. It’s only after the persistence of Adonis and witnessing his potential first hand that convinces Rocky to come on board. Adonis and Rocky form a familial bond that is tested by life, the sport of boxing and father time. It’s not long into the film that Adonis gets his title shot against the #1 contender, “Pretty” Ricky Conlan and Rocky gets diagnosed with cancer. Can Adonis Johnson beat “Pretty” Ricky Conlan and can Rocky beat cancer?
Check out “Creed”, currently in theaters to find out.
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