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Is Rocky franchise installment 'Creed' worth seeing?
Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson in "Creed. - photo by John Clyde
THE RING Now that your Hunger Games hangover has finally subsided its time to figure out what movies you should check out this holiday weekend. There are a few options, but one of the big-ticket items is the continuation of the Rocky saga, Creed.

The seventh film in the franchise is no longer focused on underdog Rocky Balboa, but rather on the son of his long-time rival-turned friend Apollo Creed. Usually when you get to number seven in a franchise youve officially jumped the shark and given up, but Creed is different because its actually one of the better films in the catalogue.

Heres the good and the bad when it comes to Creed.

The good

Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan is a familiar face, but maybe not a household name. You may recognize him from the NBC series Friday Night Lights, or possibly from this summers disaster of a film Fantastic Four. Hes a solid actor that knows how to play the tormented and tortured youngster to near perfection and thats exactly what hes called on to do here.

Like all Rocky movies Creed has some over-the-top dramatic moments and laughable scenarios, but Jordan somehow keeps us grounded. His performance as Adonis Johnson-Creed is endearing and frustrating and you find yourself cheering for his character.

Ryan Coogler

Director Ryan Coogler made a big splash with his film Fruitvale Station, which was a huge hit at the Sundance Film Festival a few years back. The movie was powerful thanks to the direction and screenplay by Coogler. The stars performance didnt hurt either. Who was that? None other than Michael B. Jordan.

Fast forward a few years and Coogler is taking on the boxing drama Creed and he nailed it. His visuals are powerful, his fight scenes are unique and often times beautiful, and overall he made a really good movie.

The underdog

Its hard not to root for the underdog and Creed is no exception. The storyline is set up in a way that you become emotionally attached to Adonis and want him to succeed. You get so enthralled, in fact that youll have a hard time from clapping and cheering at moments. At least that was the case in the theater I saw it in.

Fun tidbits

There is a lot of history behind this film and some of it is interesting enough to actually mention.

In the first Rocky, Burgess Merediths Mick trains Rocky, played by Sylvester Stallone. At the time of filming Rocky, Meredith was 69 years old. In Creed Rocky trains Adonis and Stallone is currently 69 years old.

The opening scene of Rocky takes place on Nov. 25, 1975. Creed will open 40 years to the day after that on Nov. 25, 2015.

In the film Adonis Creed wears American-flag boxing trunks like his father, Apollo Creed, did in earlier Rocky films. This wasnt actually in the original script and was a suggestion from Sylvester Stallone.

The bad

Overly dramatic

Dont get me wrong, I love some good drama, but Creed tried almost too hard at times. It would seem that every single character we meet has some terrible thing they are fighting. Yes, it adds some depth to these characters, but it also turns them into one of the sorriest bunch characters who ever ended up crossing paths.

The added drama isnt enough to ruin the movie, but it was enough to notice.

Its basically Rocky

The original Rocky is a fantastic sports drama focusing more on the latter than the former. The tale of the Italian Stallion made all of us believe we could achieve the impossible. Creed does the same thing, but its a bit too familiar.

In hopes of avoiding any spoilers Ill leave it at this, youll walk out of the theater with the creeping feeling that youve seen all of this before.


Despite its predictable outcomes and overused clichs it was hard not to like Creed. I was interested in the characters, anticipating the outcome, and overall enjoying the journey as I watched it.

Its a film worth seeing, especially if youre a Rocky fan. If youre not you should still enjoy it.

Creed is PG-13 and earns the rating with some harsh language and violence in the ring.
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