For those of you who have been living on Mars for the past 40 years and have never seen a Rocky movie, this is a terrific entry point. For all the millions of Rocky fans out there, this is a Must-See!
This film uses “Rocky” as a template, but up-dates it enough to be unique and creative while still paying homage to the original film. The Director and co-Screenwriter, Ryan Cooglar, gets fine performances from Michael B. Jordan (as Adonis Creed) and especially Sylvester Stallone (as Rocky Balboa).
It turns out Apollo Creed has an illegitimate son – Adonis – whose mother died when he was very young, and who has never even met his father. Adonis is a troubled young boy living in juvenile hall when Apollo’s widow decides to have him live with her. Adonis straightens out and grows up. He has a college education and a good job, but he has fighting in his blood, so he moves from L.A. to Philadelphia with hopes of getting trained by Rocky.
Rocky is having trouble coping with the loss of his beloved wife, Adrian, and her brother, Paulie, his best friend. He owns a restaurant and is no longer even involved with boxing.
Although resistant at first, Rocky finally agrees to train Adonis. Just like in “Rocky,” we have an unknown fighter set up to fight a seemingly-invincible foe for the championship, “Pretty” Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew), trying to accomplish the impossible. He gets support and wisdom from Rocky, and inspiration and motivation from the woman he loves, Bianca (Tessa Thompson).
The film is emotionally compelling and “packs a wallop.” Although the training scenes aren’t as good as they were in “Rocky,” the rest of the film measures up well to that all-time classic.
The film will work fine as a rental, but it’s a very good movie and worth a trip to the BS now.