Ding ding ding! We have a winner!
Creed, the seventh instalment in the knockout Rocky series, proves that the legend is still fighting fit. Directed by Gary Coogler, starring Michael B. Jordan, and with the return of the legend himself, Sylvester Stallone, Creed is being hailed as the best Rocky film since the original. All about honour, self-belief and family, Creed packs quite the emotional punch.
The film follows Adonis Johnson, the son of Rocky’s former rival and good friend Apollo Creed, who was killed in the ring in Rocky IV. Having learned from a young age to fight for survival, by the time he is grown Adonis is a skilled fighter, and determined to follow in his father’s footsteps. As such, he seeks out Rocky and persuades the Italian Stallion to train him. Adonis, with all the makings of a great boxer, is held back by his struggle with his namesake, fearing that if he adopts his father’s name in the ring he’ll be jeered as a “fake Creed”. If he is to truly conquer the ring though, he must learn to embrace his legacy and prove he is worthy.
Coogler does everything right here, turning what could have been a predictable rehash into a fresh and exciting story. While fans can expect to be hit by some serious nostalgia, there is also a modernisation of the Rocky formula in Creed, as Coogler builds on it, injecting fresh life into the well-known and well-loved saga. Stallone gives a stirring performance as Adonis’ mentor, one which has earned him a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and an Oscar nomination.
Creed is a must-see for all Rocky fans, but it will also draw in a new crowd, rejuvenating the franchise. A sensational smash.