The 539th film I have seen in theaters…
Adonis Creed solidifies his legacy and becomes the first unified boxing champion in 20 years. After finishing his final fight against Conlon, he retires from the ring. As he settles into his new life as a promoter, his childhood friend Damian comes back into his life. “Dame”, having spent the previous 18 years in prison on a gun charge, wants to make up for lost time and restart his boxing career. Despite warnings from those around him, Donny allows his guilt over the past to influence his decisions and his helps out Dame. Things go south when Damian reveals his true intentions and puts all Creed has built at risk. As is ALWAYS the case, Adonis must return to the ring to settle things.
Like the previous films, this is terrific. Although Stallone does not appear here, his shadow looms large as Dame wants a shot at the title, similarly to Rocky’s famous fight with Apollo. Michael B. Jordan brings a lot to this film, delving into Creed’s guilt over childhood failings. He is also the DIRECTOR! As far as directorial debuts, this was a great one. The guy has an outstanding eye for drama. Tessa Thompson is back as Bianca, trying to understand her husband’s trauma. Every time I see this woman on screen she knocks me out (pun intended). Fantastic actor.
Stealing the movie, as he did last month as Kang the Conqueror, is Jonathan Majors as Damian Anderson. This dude is a legit amazing actor. This could very easily have become a one note villain, similar to the opponents of the past films. Like Drago before him, Dame is an extremely sympathetic villain. It adds so much to the film when they put this much work in the heel.
Without getting into too many spoilers, the ending of this movie is near perfect. The final fight is shot beautifully, and in a NEW way (difficult when this is essentially Rocky 9). The way the characters end off is also executed wonderfully. Tremendous performances there. One of the better directing debuts and definitely better than the 9th film in the Rocky series has any right to be. Speaking of, this feels like the moment Creed breaks away and stands on its own, which is amazing to see.
Definitely worth the price of admission. 8/10
As I look at my rankings, I can’t help but see a pattern. Rocky and Creed near the top (Balboa sneaking in there at #3. IV and CII (The Drago saga) next followed by the 3rd entries where the lead character has to come out of retirement and loses an older loved one. There is no where else to go but Rocky V. Stop now Creed!!!
- Rocky Balboa
- Rocky IV
- Creed II
- Rocky II
- Creed III
- Rocky III
- Rocky V