By Michael LeCompte
Sports movies are a long-standing, comfortable genre. Moviegoers and sports fans alike never seem to tire of tales of individuals and teams triumphing against the odds. Hollywood is more than happy to oblige trotting out a yearly string of sports dramas to vie for our emotional and economic capital.
Creed, the latest installment of the Rocky saga (actually it’s more of a spinoff) is a legitimate cinematic contender. The best sports films are always more about life in general than athletics in particular (think the original Rocky), and this is where Creed excels.
Adonis Creed, the illegitimate son of Apollo was a troubled youth who was ultimately taken in by Apollo’s widow. Son of the former Heavyweight Champion, growing up on the streets, to living in luxury and being an educated young man, Adonis is a compelling and conflicted character. He is alternately running from his past and trying to make a name for himself with his own fists.
Adonis tracks down an aged Rocky and convinces him to be his manager. By training the young fighter Rocky teaches him about life inside and outside the ring and in the process Adonis renews Rocky’s fighting spirit, enabling him to confront the new obstacles in his life.
Michael B. Jordan plays a very credible boxer as Adonis and the fight sequences are excellent. Story wise much of Creed borrows from the original Rocky, however, the film does stand on its own merits. Besides, we all love our formulaic, underdog sports movies, remember?
Creed is a cinematic knockout well worth seeing this Holiday season.