I felt sure that Creed I was the end of the line for the Rocky franchise, what more could be said or done that wouldn’t be redundant? Well…. I was wrong. This is not primarily a boxing movie, though there are two major fight scenes in it, including one at the climax of the film. This is mainly a family drama about Adonis Creed getting married, having a baby with his new bride Bianca, thinking about what’s really important in life now that he has a family…. and of course what it means to be a real man.
Boxing, of all sports, is clearly the most macho of real sports (bearing in mind that often ‘wrasslin is fake’), and for two plus hours we watch the lives of the Creed family played out at a crucial juncture in their journey. Rocky (Stallone of course) plays a key supportive role, but the focus is on the Creeds, including Momma Creed, played effectively by Philycia Rashad of Huxtable fame. Importantly the movie features a girl friend/wife that has a career of her own as a popular singer (even though she is hearing impaired) played effectively by Tessa Thompson. She isn’t just a supporter of her husband, though she is that as well. The most effective scenes in the movie are between the splendid Michael B. Jordan and Stallone and between Jordan and Thompson. Dolph Lundgren brings back the Ivan Drago story into this story, only now it’s his son who fights Adonis Creed.For me this film raised some important questions like— If you’re not doing what you love, doing what your gifted to do in life— then why are you doing what you are doing? Are you just making a living and getting by, or are you making a life, making a contribution to society? It also raises the question—= Does a man have to be macho to be a real man, or is there a different sort of fighter we are all called to be, a fighter that can say with St. Paul, you may have beat me, but you didn’t defeat me. Do you have an unconquerable spirit like Paul? And while we are at it— is showing love and compassion and forgiveness, which were the hallmarks of Jesus’ life, the signs of a real man, a real authentic person?