Adonis Creed (Jordan) is a strong-minded young man who, after getting a chance at changing his life for the better, seeks to hone his skills and channel his energy into boxing - something he believes he was born to do. When his efforts to find the best trainer fail, he seeks out his dead father's old counterpart, Rocky Balboa (Stallone). Will Balboa take Creed Jr under his wing and train him for greatness?
Every once in a while, there comes along a sports drama film that challenges odds and defies expectations - much like the hero of this film, Apollo Creed's son. While Stallone has not written this film (as he did with the others in the Rocky series), Ryan Coogler makes deft work with this subtle, moving and nuanced tale of interpersonal relationships. The boxing scenes, therefore, only add to the emotional impact of the film. Confrontations in the ring serve as key points, but it is the parts in between that form the flesh and blood of this story. That said though, you will be hard-pressed to find a film that has better brutal pugilistic rounds than this.
So, Creed is the archetypal angry kid from a broken home (think real life Mike Tyson, because the parallels of aggression are all too familiar). He is impulsive and violent but driven by a greater destiny. Nonetheless, it is Stallone who takes the cake as well as the bakery here. He steals the show with his masterful performance, thanks to Coogler giving Stallone the leeway to actually emote and allow shades of grey into his character. That aside, Stallone's role seems to be tailor made. Too old for actually getting into a fight, he now slips into the mentor league. Fans of the original Rocky films will find this film as comfortable to slip into as an old shoe, with several points of familiarity, much to their delight. Both Stallone and Jordan are terrific.
Simply put, if you like films about boxing, with the emotional quotient thrown in, you will enjoy this one. It's Stallone, after all.