Director: Ryan Coogler
Talent: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Tony Bellew
Release Date: 15th January 2016
Adonis Creed (Jordan), son of Apollo (born out of an extra-marital affair), is a raw, self-coached boxing talent winning semi-professional bouts in Tijuana by night under the name of Don Johnson, while working a desk job in Los Angeles by day. Deciding he wants to make the big time, he moves to Philadelphia, reverse-Fresh Prince-style, to seek out the guidance of his late father’s great friend and erstwhile rival, Rocky Balboa (Stallone). What transpires would be so much familiar sports movie cliché – overcoming of personal demons, winning the heart of a young lady with misgivings – if it weren’t for the boxing scenes themselves, comprised of long, moving shots that rotate around the action to exhilarating effect. It might not have the pathos, the glory, or the sheer absurdity of the previous films in the Rocky franchise, but at the level of pure adrenaline, it knocks them into a tin hat. A great boxing film.
Words: Oisín Murphy-Hall