Creed Review
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Itís been nine years since Sylvester Stallone last stepped into the ring for his big comeback in Rocky Balboa. But while you may have thought thatówith Stallone now pushing 70óthe franchise was finally down for the count, the former heavyweight champ is back for another fight in Creed.

Creed introduces a new fighter to the Rocky franchise. Growing up, Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) was always a fighteróbut he didnít know that fighting was in his blood until he was taken in by Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad), the widow of his late father, boxer Apollo Creed.

With Mary Anneís help and encouragement, Adonis gets an education and a good job in finance, but he canít escape the call of the ring. So he moves to Philadelphia and asks his fatherís old friend and rival, Rocky Balboa, to train him.

Creed is the kind of feel-good underdog story that will remind audiences why they fell in love with the franchise in the first place. Itís gritty and tense and hard-hitting, but it has a big heart, too.

Jordan makes a likable new lead. His Adonis is smart but stubborn, charming but relentless. He doesnít have a larger-than-life personality, but thatís okayóbecause his passion and determination are enough to carry the character. And thereís just no point in trying to outshine the franchiseís star.

Stallone is the same old Rocky. As the film opens, heís rather lost and alone, missing his best friend, Paulie, and the love of his life, Adrian. Heís still a likable guy; heís just lost some of his spark. But the arrival of his old friendís son (and his new role as reluctant trainer) gradually reignites his passion for the sportóand maybe even for life in general, too. And though he acts as the young fighterís trainer, he comes off as a kind of lovable, crazy grandpaóold-school but easy-going, generally taking things in stride. It may be Jordanís movie, but Stallone shines, tackling the drama of the story with ease.

And, of course, thereís the boxing. Though there are plenty of training scenes and a couple of fights along the way, it all leads up to one big fight against the current champ. As the fight gets closer, the tension builds. And the fight scenes are so intense that youíll find yourself holding your breath until itís over.

Creed is both dynamic and dramaticóand, once the last big fight comes to an end, youíll feel like youíve been through a workout, too. Itís a smart new step for the franchiseóand worthwhile return to the ring for the Italian Stallion.

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