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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Movie Review: Creed

Creed debuted in theaters in November, stirred up Oscar talk in February and was released to DVD in March.  Inexplicably, it took me until April to see the film.  With Creed, the seventh installment of the series, the Rocky franchise takes a leap forward while keeping a firm grip on the past.  It's a winning combination that will satisfy old fans and win over a new generation.

Creed begins in a California juvenile detention center where an orphan boy with a penchant for fist fights is given a second chance at life when he learns that he is the son of the legendary Apollo Creed and is adopted by Creed's widow.  As the plot unfolds, an adult Adonis, played by Michael B. Jordan, learns what it truly means to be a fighter and what it means to bear his famous father's last name.  Along the way, Adonis makes his way to Philadelphia where he convinces Rocky Balboa to come out of retirement to train him in the ring and in life.

Creed is a standalone movie, but it is a far richer experience for viewers who are familiar with the original films.  Despite this connection to the past, the franchise took a leap forward by injecting young and talented blood into the mix with writer-director Ryan Cooler and leading man Michael B. Jordan.  Acting alongside the young Jordan, an aging Sylvester Stallone delivered a performance worthy of his best supporting actor nomination.  But, at the end of the day, Creed is still a Rocky movie with all the melodrama and predictability that has characterized the franchise since Rocky III.

Creed is a perfect next step in the Rocky saga.  It is uplifting and entertaining and an all-around fun two hours of entertainment.

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