Creed tells the story of Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the illegitimate son of legendary boxer Apollo Creed. After his mother died, he has been bounced around foster care till taken in by Creed’s widow (Phylicia Rashad). Fighting is in his blood and no matter how hard he tries working nine to five, he wants to box. Adonis leaves L.A. and travels to Philadelphia to find the one man who can train him to be as great as his father…Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).
This is a very entertaining and heartfelt drama about a young man trying to live up to a legacy while also trying to cement his own. As directed by Ryan Coogler, from a script by he and Aaron Covington, it avoids the boxing movie clichés, for the first two thirds, by being about the man not the sport. There is also a wonderful passing of the torch element as Balboa trains the son of a man who was both his best friend and biggest rival. The acting is very strong from Jordan, who proves he is a star on the rise and Stallone, who proves that despite his larger than life action roles, when he plays humble, he is a damn good actor. Supporting cast such as Phylicia Rashad and Tessa Thompson as “Donnie’s” love interest Bianca are also very solid in their roles. If the film has any weakness it’s the actual fight in the last act. Adonis officially takes on the name of Creed to battle British bad boy “Pretty” Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew), the fight is rather by-the-numbers and pretty much plays out how you’d expect. It doesn’t quite have the thrills as the earlier Rocky film battles. Still, the film isn’t about the fight, it is about the fighter and the man behind him and as that, it is quite satisfying without being overly sentimental. A really good film with real good work from it’s cast and a script that smartly focuses on it’s well-written characters.