Creed is the Rocky movie that managed to surprise us, and thankfully this surprise is one that we want to see more of. The movie takes the concept of the underdog that the series is known for and flips it around for the seventh installment in the boxing franchise.
Creed does many things well, but rather than take the name of its predecessor it dares to tell a different tale. The main character Adonis “Donny” Johnson, played by Michael B. Jordan, explores the idea of what it means to be born into wealth, but desire nothing more than to be true to one’s self.
Sylvester Stallone makes a triumphant return to the series as Rocky Balboa, but rather than steal the show, he graciously hands the torch to Jordan.
We see Rocky in a different place in this movie. In previous entries in the Rocky series, there was never a fight that Rocky couldn’t handle with his own strength. No matter how many matches, titles or conflicts within his family, Rocky was always able to win. However, time begins to take its toll.
Rocky is alone in Philadelphia for reasons explained in the movie and it is through this that we see Rocky in a vulnerable state. This new vulnerability allows Stallone to show off some different acting skills that fans of the series will enjoy.
Donny is the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s rival turned best friend. Donny grew up in foster care for years as a kid before Apollos’s wife took him in and raised him as her own.
Donny has a great job, but longs for more which is evident as he does boxing matches in Mexico on Sundays only to return to work on Monday.
Donny decides that although he has a good life, boxing is what he wants to do with it. He quits work to pursue a full career in boxing. This prompts him to look for Rocky, who at first was reluctant to train him.
Creed is a movie that is all about making a name for yourself without using the name of others to get there. Michael B. Jordan does a great job of making his character believable and not over selling himself. It was great to see him take on this role and it’ll be interesting to see where he takes it in future installments.
If you haven’t seen Creed then you owe it to yourself to go out and be a part of what will likely be a generation’s next defining series.