Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson



Director: Ryan Coogler

Rating: 3.5/5

Rocky Balboa is one of the greatest film characters of all time and we see Sylvester Stallone reprise the role in Creed. However, this is a very different Balboa than we have seen in the past as he takes on the role of mentor and trainer.

Creed marks the return of filmmaker Ryan Coogler for what is his first feature film since making his debut with the critically acclaimed Fruitvale Station. There was already a lot of excitement around Coogler, but now, he really is one of the up and coming directors that has a very bright future.

Creed is a terrific addition to this iconic boxing franchise, it takes the film series in a new direction, and breathes new and exciting life into this franchise; we really could see a whole host of great new films coming our way over the next few years.

Adonis Johnson (Jordan) never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there's no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed's legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa.

Once in the City of Brotherly Love, Adonis tracks Rocky (Stallone) down and asks him to be his trainer. Despite his insistence that he is out of the fight game for good, Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo - the fierce rival who became his closest friend. Agreeing to take him on, Rocky trains the young fighter, even as the former champ is battling an opponent more deadly than any he faced in the ring.

I have always been a fan of the Rocky franchise and Creed is a terrific addition to the series and brings a fantastic new depth to a familiar story.

Creed does follow a familiar story and goes down a path that you are expecting. Having said that, it is a stylish movie with some wonderful boxing scenes, powerful and incredibly deep relationship between Stallone and Jordan.

Jordan delivers a great performance in the central role of Adonis Johnson, a young boxer who wants to make it on his own instead of trading on his famous father's name. While the movie does chart his rise as a boxer, Creed is a movie that is very much about finding out who you are and being worth of the name that you carry.

Jordan is in terrific shape for the film and clearly worked hard to prepare physically. He looks every inch the professional boxer when he steps in the ring. The bouts really are brutal stuff and Creed's fight with 'Pretty' Ricky Conlan is a great climax to the movie.

Stallone also gives a wonderful performance as an ageing Balboa who is enticed back into the world of boxing by Creed. A father/son relationship develops between the pair and it is this out of the ring drama that elevates Creed to a great character drama.

Coogler really is one of the most exciting filmmakers around, and Creed was inspired by his relationship with his own father and the love that the pair of them had for the Rocky movies.

He has delivered a movie that is everything that you expect from a boxing film, but it has a powerful emotional core that really will take you by surprise. Creed is a movie that easily stands alongside the Rocky movies that have gone before and will bring this franchise to a new generation.

Creed is out now.

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