Creed Review!

Jondee here with the fight fans at Philly,

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This is the film to put the Rocky franchise back on track, all thanks to writer/director Ryan Coogler, who directed Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station (2013). It brings it back to the first Rocky (1976) with mentions of what occurred in the sequels. The film begins in Los Angeles, 1998 at a juvenile hall where young Adonis gets into a fight with another kid. His mother whom he doesn’t know, Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad) has found him and wants him to stay with her. Adonis asks her what was his father’s name, then we get the film’s title. The scene shifts to Tijuana, Mexico where the grown up Adonis (Jordan) is preparing for a fight. He knocks out his opponent and gets an off the record, 16-0 record. Next, we get a business office, where Adonis works. He gets a promotion, but quits. Adonis tells his mother and goes to the Delphi Boxing Academy gym to train, but they refuse him because of his name. He moves to an apartment in Philly. The city was shown as a destination in the first film and here it is equally revealed except it’s historical roots (which you will have to go to National Treasure to see).

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Adonis who know goes by Donnie heads over to Mighty Mickey’s gym (the name of Rocky’s trainer played by Burgess Meredith). He takes out a fighter, but faces the #2 fighter (the stats for the fighters are listed next to them). The champion knocks him out, a slo-mo shot that tilts with Donnie slamming into the mat. Donnie heads over to Adrian’s Italian restaurant (named after Rocky’s late wife). Adrian, who in Rocky Balboa (2006) it was noted died of cancer. Donnie looks at the black and white fight picture between Rocky and Apollo. He reveals to Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) things about the fight, his mother, that he is Apollo’s son. There is a great two shot of Rocky and Adonis in front of the fight picture. Rocky refuses, he is not a boxer or a trainer anymore, just a restauranteur. Rocky goes to the grave of Paulie (who died sometime after the last movie) and also Adrian. Rocky shows up at Mickey’s gym and the owner wants him to train his son. Instead, Donnie goes up to him, his nickname for Rocky is “Unc”, and they begin training. Rocky brings up the training from Mickey with Donnie chasing after a chicken. He is fighting as Donnie Johnson, his mother’s maiden name, and has to take up the mantle of Creed.

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In the middle of Donnie in Philly, he is woken by the beats downstairs. He slams on the door and his neighbor (Tessa Thompson) opens it and tells him she will turn down the music. Later, he is training and goes out for a run and sees her poster, Bianca, on a club. She is a singer who is suffering from congenital hearing loss. The romance between them is so nice I wanted to see more rather than the boxing and Rocky. This does take a downward turn so it’s back to fight action. Donnie sees on his newsfeed that the champion from Mickey’s gym goes to fight the #1 champion, Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew) from Liverpool. Conlan will have his last fight since he is facing prison time for having a gun. He hits Conlan in the fight conference and tries to sue like Apollo Creed who loses his opponent Mac Lee Green to injury in the first Rocky.

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Donnie moves into Rocky’s house to train with him. He finally gets to the fight and gets nervous telling Rocky to take off his gloves. The owner of the gym tells Rocky that he made calls and knows that Adonis is the illegitimate child of Apollo. The fight scenes are so intense, every audience member will be caught in it, and not root for Adonis, but have him earn it. Rocky tells him a punch combination that Apollo used on him that knocks out his opponent. Donnie has some time under the sheets with Bianca. Then, at breakfast the next day, she sees the gossip of Adonis as the son of Apollo. Donnie goes to her and says that he will be honest. Rocky gets a call from the hospital and the doctor tells him that they have found non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Rocky tells her that his wife went through chemotherapy and refuses treatment. Bianca has a performance, one of the singers calls him “Baby Apollo” which gets Donnie swinging and thrown in jail. Donnie has to embrace and move past his father’s legacy, work with Rocky to save him, and take on the undefeated Ricky Conlan. Five punch-outs out of five! Ding!

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