Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) is trained by boxing legend Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) in Creed.

Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) is trained by boxing legend Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) in Creed.

Reel Reviews: Creed delivers one-two punch

Taylor and Howe say, Creed is "a tidy, somewhat plausible Rocky film."

  • Dec. 4, 2015 8:00 a.m.

A young man named Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) grows up a fighter in Philadelphia’s mean streets, trying to make a name for himself despite being the son of late boxer Apollo Creed.

Always in trouble, Johnson isn’t able to get his own career off the ground until he meets Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).

With his famous name and Rocky in his corner, the young boxer gets his big break.

We say, “It’s a tidy, somewhat plausible Rocky film.”

TAYLOR: I was surprised to enjoy this one as much as I did. Having Jordan as the up and comer was fine and I found the boxing scenes exciting, but I was most impressed by Stallone’s performance as an ageing, ill boxer.

HOWE: The movie itself felt old; I mean that in a good way. It felt like the original couple ofRocky movies. I will agree with you, Stallone impressed me also with his performance. I thought that Jordan gave one of his better performances of late, proving he does have some acting ability and is not just getting by on his pretty boy looks.

0When I first heard that this was going to be the seventh, yes, that’s the seventh, Rocky movie in this franchise, I was a little wary of it. Especially after the fifth one, which is possibly the worst sport movie of all time. But I am happy to say that this one won’t disappoint Rocky fans.

TAYLOR: It did seem old, very grey, washed out. It also tried to feel like the first two Rockymovies, in that a young boxer tries to claw his way out of that greyness, inspiring some local youth to perhaps do the same, while the old trainer deals with his health issues.

There’s training montages set to stirring music. Young Creed even has personal relationships with his mother and his girlfriend to provide backstory, just as Rocky did. So all the pieces are there and while effective, this is still just a quick, light movie.

Adequately written, performed and captured, Creed is cool but disposable, a bit lazy.

HOWE: The only downside I found was that it was a little too clean, a little too clear cut. Johnson had fought no one, except for some illegal fights in Mexico, yet all of a sudden he gets a crack at the world heavyweight title because of his father’s name. But saying that, it is a Rockymovie so I can let it slide.

– Howe gives Creed 4 Liver birds out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 3 Old Glory shorts out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe review the latest films for The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.