Set a couple of years after the events of 2006’s Rocky Balboa, the seventh Rocky movie, Creed serves as both a spin-off and a sequel (a sort of “Rocky VII”). It follows Adonis “Donnie” Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the illegitimate son of legendary boxer Apollo Creed, as he seeks to make a name for himself in professional boxing without riding on the reputation of his father. To achieve his dreams, he moves to Philadelphia and solicits the tutelage of his father’s chief rival and close friend, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). After receiving the opportunity to have a world championship bout, Donnie must learn to embrace, not only his father’s name, but the fact that he is indeed his father’s son.
This spin-off isn’t merely some opportunistic cash-grab project of banking on the nostalgic appeal and reputation of a famous movie property. Purpose and thought are behind making this movie. It has a legitimate story, and there’s serious effort put in its production.
If you love the Rocky movies, you will surely love Creed. It’s always nice to see Rocky Balboa, one of the most iconic movie characters ever, on the big screen again, even if he’s relegated to a supporting role. But as itself, Creed is a genuinely terrific film – one of the year’s best. In fact, among all other Rocky films, it probably has the most depth since the first movie. It’s a compelling drama fueled by the amazing performances of Stallone and Jordan. This is definitely Stallone’s best in ages, and, by starring in this, Jordan can be forgiven of taking part in the tremendously godawful Fant4stic movie.
Creed is worthy to become as much of a classic as Rocky. And I hope a few sequels will get made. The movie is a perfect “passing of the torch” between Stallone and Jordan, and I would certainly love to see more of Adonis Creed carrying the legacy of Rocky Balboa on the big screen.