Geez, I wanted to like this movie. I love the Rocky saga, and I was intrigued by the idea of introducing Apollo Creed's son as the new protagonist. And once the film started getting rave reviews, I got *really* pumped to see it. Unfortunately, I feel like I saw a different movie from everyone else. Sure, "Creed" has some good acting and a good heart, and it's somewhat respectful to the Rocky legacy. But, drat it, this film is really just a lazy remake of the first Rocky film, with Adonis Creed in Rocky's role and Rocky in Mickey's role. Worse than that - "Creed" rips off literally every preceding Rocky movie. It contains not a single original idea. Indeed, I recognized every scene - the illness subplot is recycled from "Rocky II," the boring office job material was previously seen in "Rocky Balboa," the training montage was in...well, all the old ones...and so on. Just changing the protagonist isn't enough to make this ancient material feel fresh. There were some opportunities to explore new directions, but the filmmakers squandered most of them. For example, the beginning of the film builds up Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad) as a compelling new character - but then she gets dropped like a hot potato about 1/4 of the way through the movie. And Adonis Creed's potentially interesting romance with Bianca (Tessa Thompson) develops in a very cliched fashion; all Creed ever does is lie to Bianca or spoil things for her, yet somehow she loves him anyway. Why? Even their "meet cute" scene didn't work for me. Bianca wakes Creed up by blasting music in their apartment building at 3:00 AM - which in a movie is charming behavior, but in real life would be incredibly annoying. Somehow, Creed is the only person in the building who comes to complain. Yeah, right. On a more depressing note, I really don't like what the film does to Rocky's character. If you thought Rocky was a sad old man in "Rocky Balboa," you ain't seen nothing yet. The Rocky in this movie has given up on life, and that's not easy to watch. At least in "Rocky Balboa," we got to see Rocky rebuilding his life after losing Adrian, by drawing closer to his son and developing a friendship with Little Marie. But in this movie, his son and Little Marie are gone, and Rocky is just...waiting' on death. Ugh, how bleak. And I guess I'm supposed to believe that Rocky's forced, chemistry-free friendship with Adonis Creed gives him a reason to live again. Yikes. I'm not sure why the critics are so into this movie - usually, they vilify sentimental, lazy remakes like this. I think perhaps they were really jazzed that Ryan Coogler of "Fruitvale Station" fame directed it. All I can say is, I hope "Fruitvale Station" is better than this. "Creed" is as unoriginal as a Star Wars movie about blowing up the Death Star. Worse yet, it reminded me of the inevitable passage of time in a sort of downer way. Yeah, I think I'll just pretend it doesn't exist, and toss it in the same bin with other passing-the-torch films like "Star Trek: Generations" and "Batman Forever." It's a better film than those, true, but no less of a drag.
Adonis Johnson is the son of the famous boxing champion Apollo Creed, who died in a boxing match in "Rocky IV". Adonis wasn't born until after his father's death and wants to follow his fathers footsteps in boxing. He seeks a mentor who is the former heavyweight boxing champion and former friend of Apollo Creed, the retired Rocky Balboa. Rocky eventually agrees to mentor Adonis. With Rocky's help they hope to get a title job to face even deadlier opponents than his father. But whether he is a true fighter remains to be seen....