CREED Review — It's a Knock Out!

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Creed ReviewKnock me over with a feather, I have to admit Creed is one of the best family films of the year. And I thought it was going to be a cheesy attempt to revive Rocky for a new generation. Creed goes far beyond reviving the franchise — it gives birth to a new one that I think it will connect with viewers just as solidly as the original did back in the ’70’s.

Hard to believe it’s been almost 40 years since Sylvester Stallone donned the gloves and cried “Yo Adrien!” for the first time. In the Rocky world today the oh-so-talented Michael B. Jordan (whom you’ll doubtless remember as Vince from Friday Night Lights, as well as Oscar Grant in the haunting Fruitvale Station) plays Adonis Creed, the illegitimate son of the great Apollo Creed, who died in the ring before “Donny” was born. Seems he inherited his dad’s boxing champ genes, and his inevitable path leads to the reluctant and retired Rocky Balboa, who just might be the only one who can train Donny into the champ he was born to be.

Of course there are the prerequisite nods to Rocky of yore — the turtles, the bikers, the Philadelphia steps and much more. It’s obvious writer/director Ryan Coogler has a love for the subject matter, without being overly sentimental. Jordan talks about how Coogler and his father bonded over the Rocky films, and how the writer/director had pitched the part to Jordan even before they finished working on Fruitvale Station. Sly was convinced to join the party later.

And what a fabulous party it is! Jordan is already saying that he’d like to see what happens to his character after the credits roll on Creed, and if the film does as well as I think it will, we all might get the chance to find out.

Now, I’ve never been a big fan of pugilism, but I’m always willing to make exceptions and watch a match if it involves a Rocky movie or a party with Wood Ranch brisket. Here’s to more of both!

Rated PG-13

1 Hour 35 Minutes

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CREED Review — It’s a Knock Out!

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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