BY ALITHNAYN ABDULKAREEM
As a film, Creed sustains itself on an impeccable range. It gives every kind of viewer something to enjoy and root for. There is a skill and vision in the directing; taking the seventh film in the popular Rocky anthology and creating something simultaneously whole on its own and still packs a healthy enough nostalgia for fans of the previous films.
Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is an angry kid pulled out the social service establishment by Apollo Creed’s widow. He grows up dissatisfied and retaining his childhood anger, despite the comforts of a nice house, well-paying job and a loving mother figure. So he quits and moves to Philadelphia where he starts training to become a boxer. Young Creed, is a man eager to prove himself and even more determined not to have his father’s reputation play any part in his success.
He seeks out Rocky who unsurprisingly hesitate before accepting to train the young boxer who quickly secures a fast rising reputation and for reasons necessary to the plot, Young Creed very early in his career is taped to fight against a world boxing heavyweight. The movie gives satisfactory reasoning for this turn of events instead of relying on irrational and laughable coincidences many films could/do resort to.
And so young Adonis fights, grows and develops deeper relationships; with his trainer, falls in love with a girl and becomes a legitimate Detroit man. Tessa Thompson in her love interest role plays her character a few layers above with a career to work towards and a setback that could easily reduce her character/be a source of emotional upheaval. It does not. She is eerily reminiscent of FKA Twigs when she belts her experimental RnB fusion music.
Sylvester Stallone as most viewers know is Rocky, who is now a trainer wearing his character’s experience and projecting a wisdom that is beautifully fitting. Jordan reunites with his Fruitvale Station director and is in tune with what his character. His highlights in this movie come in those scenes where he allows his emotions to pour. Sometimes, bigger is better. And what could be bigger than machine riding kids circling around the son of a boxing legend spurring him on to chase the path of glory with a killer hip hop song playing?
Creed is not a revolutionary story but Ryan Coogler’s direction takes a standard sports movie without twists and surprises and handles the evolution of its subject rather intelligently and with emotional accessibility.