There is no more recognizable and inspirational character in film history than Rocky. What started out as a underdog boxing film in the 70s has transitioned into a piece of history as the character continues to find fans and inspire through the 6 films in the franchise. When they announced that they would be revisiting this characters world once again, but this time with his best friend and rival Apollo Creed’s son it left most thinking the worst was to come. Now the spin-off film aptly titled Creed is here with Micheal B. Jordan stepping in as the new lead with Stallone by his side, but is this a fight worth getting in the ring for or should it just take a dive in the first round?
Creed follows Adonis Johnson, the son of the late Apollo Creed who is out to make a name for himself and enlists the aide of the former World Heavyweight Champion and his father’s best friend Rocky Balboa. The trailers to this film were surprisingly good so it gave hope going into this latest outing. Typically films like this trying to take a new direction in an iconic franchise fail miserably, but thankfully that is not the case here. Instead they have loosely recreated the original film for Jordan as a platform to not only introduce the character and his rise to live up to the Creed name, but also continue the journey of Rocky himself. Major props go out to Stallone who takes the franchise that is undoubtedly his and step into a more supporting role and allow Jordan to grow into his own. Make no mistake while Jordan is the main focus of the film Rocky gets a lot of screen time and has an important new evolution to his character offering up the chance for Stallone to deliver one of his best performances in his career. Jordan carries his part to perfection bringing the swagger of Creed to life in the next generation in his own way as well as bringing his fight game to the ring.
This series has no doubt inspired numerous through the ages and even with some of the films falling short, they all have that same powerful message buried underneath that inspires us to push ourselves to be more. This film keeps that same effect firmly intact and more successful than most of the films in the franchise outside the original. While this film is moving the audience into a new direction for a new generation, it remains firmly apart of this series seamlessly. There is so much heart and power in this film that you would be hard pressed to not feel something when it is all said and done. There is even a brief moment when that iconic score comes into play to remind you that this is the Rocky world and set at the perfect moment in a scene where Stallone channels Burgess Meredith’s Mick with such a simple piece of dialogue, but one that will amp you up and ready for action. When that music hits you know it is on and your own heart will race with excitement and likely applause, but then something even better happens, they allow Creed’s music to boom right through it reminding you this is not Rocky in this fight. It is such a powerful moment that perfectly takes it to the new direction they are heading towards.
Of course the montages and fights are plenty both in and out of the ring, but anyone watching these are looking for some awesome fights and have no fear you will get them. The fights here are great and shot perfectly and might be some of the best in the entire franchise in the series. You can go on and on about everything that is great in this film and hopefully Stallone will be recognized during award time for his excellent performance. This is easily the most complete arc for a character in film history and hopefully this is not the end of the franchise, but instead will open up and entire new series of films of Jordan to carry the torch and move forward as the new reigning champion at the box office.