Creed Movie Review: Not Just Another Boxing Movie (Spoiler)

As a fan of the original Rocky Balboa movie from 1976, I heavily anticipated the re-launch of the franchise with Creed.  I’m so glad that they decided to keep the legendary Sylvester Stalone as Rocky Balboa, instead of choosing an unfamiliar face. While watching the movie, I initially thought the plot would be centered around Rocky Balboa’s story, however, I was pleased that they decided to develop Adonis Creed’s  (Michael B. Jordan) character into a separate storyline.

If you have not seen the original Rocky film, you probably should crawl from under the rock you’ve been hiding under and get in touch with the classics. However, since I am so kind I will briefly explain some of the background details of the Creed movie. Apollo Creed was considered the best boxer ever; the undisputed boxing champion of the world. In the movie, he challenges Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stalone), who was considered the underdog. To make a long story short, Apollo Creed gets a surprise in the ring and takes a few hard hits from Rocky. Rocky puts up a shocking fight and loses by a few seconds.

After losing, Rocky starts training and getting his shit together and eventually has the opportunity to train with Apollo and fight him again  in a super “secretive” third match. It is implied that Rocky would never have been the great fighter that he once was without the help and guidance from Apollo.  To get extremely dramatic towards the end of the movie, Apollo decides he can’t retire. He gets into a boxing match with Ivan Drago, a huge intimidating Russian guy, where he ultimately dies in the ring. Was is worth it Apollo?

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Fast forward to Creed, Adonis Creed ( Michael Jordan) is the son of Apollo that strives to be as legendary as his father. In the beginning of the film, I found it admirable that he wanted to keep it a secret that he was the son of Apollo and that he desired to develop his own name. I’m sorry, but if Oprah or Beyoncé was my mom, I’m telling everyone ! I would have no problem shouting it from the mountain tops and using it to my advantage. I think Oprah should hold auditions to be her child.

Anyways, It was cute that Michael B’s character was so modest.

Film Review-Creed
This photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures shows, Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’, Warner Bros. Pictures’ and New Line Cinema’s drama “Creed,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

 

Phylicia Rashad played Adonis’ “mother”, Mary Anne Creed,  in the movie. It was stated that Adonis’ biological mother passed away and Phylicia Rashad was actually the side chick that gained custody of him as a child. How charitable! Towards the end of the movie she finally showed her support for Adonis and came to terms with the fact boxing was in his blood; just like his father Apollo.

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I really enjoyed the training scenes in the movie; they showed the progression, strength and endurance of Michael B’s character. He definitely worked extremely hard in the gym for this film and you can see his hard work pay off. In an interview on Good Morning America, Michael B stated the following in terms of his fitness: “Extreme diet change,” Jordan said. “I stripped down my diet completely. Grilled chicken, brown rice, broccoli, a lot of water. I worked out two to three times a day, six days a week. And if you do that consistently for about 10 months, your body will change.”

His character went from screw my stupid 9 to 5 job to I’m going to follow my dreams and nothing is going to stand in my way. This was one of the prominent themes throughout the entire movie and is something I feel that most people can relate to.

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Tessa Thompson played Bianca, Michael B’s love interest in the movie. She was definitely giving me Lisa Bonet vibes the entire time she was on the screen. I absolutely loved her music in the movie ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9WsWWvnwqE) , and it was actually her songs.  When Bianca and Adonis first met as neighbors in their apartment building, she came off quite bitchy and did not want to turn down her music. If I was Michael B, I probably would have reported her; I need my beauty rest. As her character developed,  It completely bummed me that Bianca was progressively going deaf; despite the fact that making music was her life. There was actually a scene where Bianca and Adonis got into an argument and she literally closed her apartment door and took her hearing aids out to drown out his voice. She had enough of his bullshit.

I definitely anticipated for the “sex scenes” to be a lot more steamy. I’m not saying I wanted full blown Christian Grey, but I definitely wanted a little more. Bianca and Adonis both motivated each other in their crafts and I feel as though there should have been more on screen passion. Despite this,  the fact that there wasn’t made the movie more acceptable for a younger crowd. I mean THIS was a “boxing” movie I guess.

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When Rocky finally agrees to train Adonis, their relationship begins to develop. Adonis appears to go through some serious “daddy issues”, and gradually starts to consider Rocky his family. The unfortunate details that unravel is that Rocky ends up having cancer and does not want to endure chemotherapy.  Adonis tells Rocky he has to fight the disease just like he has to fight for his boxing dream. I think that’s pretty fair and was one of the more emotionally charged scenes in the movie. You really don’t want to discover that someone you care about has cancer simply by finding cancer information pamphlets in their coat pocket.

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The final boxing match of the movie was the most iconic scene because it reminded me so much of the 1976 Rocky classic. Adonis Creed went head to head with “Pretty” Ricky Conlan; an undefeated champion with some serious anger management issues. Adonis was considered the underdog and everyone was concerned whether or not he would live up to the Creed name. He definitely took some punches and at one point I really thought Michael B’s character was going to die like his father in the ring. Similar to the Rocky VS Apollo fight, Adonis shocked the crowd and almost knocked Conlan out and if there were a few more seconds left in the ring, I think he would have won. Ultimately Conlan ended up winning the match by a few seconds, and gave Adonis some respect and a sense of approval. Conlan knew deep down that he almost got destroyed.

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I definitely would give this movie an 8 out of 10. I would recommend the film for the Thanksgiving Holidays to share with your family. I’m interested in knowing if there will be another Creed installment. This film was definitely refreshing and was one of Michael B and Syylvester Stalone’s best performances to date. I love how Creed combined the old with new and stayed true to the roots of the 1976 classic.

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What did you think of the movie? Would you recommend it?

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