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Creed review

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Warner Brothers MGM


Pg-13. 132 min





OK gang, you know how much I love the ROCKY series. Especially the trio of 1 2 & 3 as a collective are on my top five list of greatest movies ever. Admittedly the next 3 aren't nearly as good but still I had a good time watching the Rock beat the snot out of Ivan Drago and Tommy Gunn. To be honest I'll be first in line to see rocky seven or eight even if he rolled into the ring on a wheelchair. I'm also a huge fan of Sylvester Stallone even though I agree, the guy has taken some pretty big checks to perform in some pretty bad films. Oh well, paradise alley and Copland were both excellent and under rated.


But as far as cashing in? I'd sing in a KC and the Sunshine Band tribute for enough money...


Anyway CREED actually is ROCKY 7, a natural sequel the series and only a few slight twists from the original template.


Early on we find out that Adonis Johnson ( Michael B Jordan) is actually the illegitimate son of the champion Apollo Creed. In and out of foster care he is finally taken in by Apollo's widow (Bill Cosby's TV wife Phylicia Rashad , ironic or what? ) and has been raised and educated in a world of luxury, but somewhere deep within is a desire and gift for fighting, inherited from has long passed father.


Wishing to make it on his own, Adonis fights hard to keep his heritage from being known, yet when a golden opportunity lands in his lap he comes clean and searches out the guidance of his father's old friend Rocky Balboa (Stallone).


As a purist, especially in matters of a few legends, this one included, I'd have been upset had there been serious changes to the time-honored format. Whatever problems I will list, I don't consider major but just enough to place this film among the weaker installments.


First and foremost is an obvious lack conflict due to the fact that they wanted to use every hook past six films without nearly enough time to set any of them up properly. Rocky is pretty easy to convince when it comes to taking on Adonis as a protege. Adonis' mother doesn't want him to follow in the footsteps of her husband who died in the ring , and his love interest falls for him almost unconditionally with very little effort. She's a singer with a possible career ending hearing problem that never gets resolved. There is none of the drama we remember from the relationships between Rocky and Mickey or Rocky and Adrian or Rocky and Paulie.


But the most underwhelming factor is that in previous films the opponent is a pretty nasty son of a bitch, including Apollo Creed, until he and Rocky develop a mutual respect, and Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago are true villains. Here, British light heavyweight champion , Pretty Ricky Conlon (Tony Bellew) is kind of a prick but not a monster to be hated or feared. And the ending shut up obviously for a sequel, well let's just say you could see that coming all the way from downtown Philly.



Still, fear not. Even though CREED is basically a cookie cutter series of easy cliches, (believe it or not even Cuff and Link have a cameo) it is not an unpleasant film. You will still be happy and you will still get a little bit excited. You just won't be at the edge of your seat. As for Sylvester Stallone? He's very good. He has allowed the character of Rocky Balboa to grow up and become a lot more like a wise old mentor, a man more adjusted to life outside the ring but maintaining the innocent aura of the man he used to be.


And I have to admit that Michael Jordan's kid is better than I expected him to be. I still don't think he commands the screen, like Stallone did, and might not be able to carry the serious for another 6 rounds.


But I don't doubt number 2 is already on the drawing board.


Ironically this is the lowest rating I've given any ROCKY movie and it still weighs in at...












Westside Steve Simmons

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