'Creed' is the new 'Rocky': Michael B. Jordan is Effervescent

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Last week, the old-heads scolded me after admitting I have never seen any of the “Rocky” movies.  The series, which began in 1976, was before my time– at least 12 years.  And although “Creed” is considered to be part of the “Rocky” film collection, it was good enough to stand on its own.
“Creed” is the “Rocky” of my generation. Michael B. Jordan is Adonis Johnson as Sylvester Stallone was Rocky Balboa.
The hard-hitting streets of Philadelphia has forced Young Adonis to abandon his 9-5 and become a professional fighter.  A true story of the underdog, Apollo Creed’s illegitimate son must make a quick transition from amateur to champion.
The “fight” to the top consists of the resurrection of one career and the creation of another. Jordan and Stallone are your modern day, Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi.  Their airy father-son, trainer-boxer relationship jumped off of the screen.

Sylvester Stallone, from left, Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson talk before a press conference promoting their film "Creed" outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Sylvester Stallone, from left, Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson talk before a press conference promoting their film “Creed” outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It’s safe to assume that Jordan works well with Director Ryan Coogler. Their first encounter was in 2013’s “Fruitvale Station”, the breakout movie where Jordan played Oscar Grant, a Black man killed by Bay Area police.  While I wasn’t over the moon for Jordan’s earlier stint in Marvel’s “Fantastic Four”, he is effervescent and easy on the eyes in “Creed”.
The women of “Creed” were nothing short of amazing too. Phylicia Rashad played Apollo Creed’s wife and adoptive mother to Adonis. We all know she’s excellent at playing maternal roles.  This movie was no different.  Rashad, 67, is aging so beautifully.  I just love everything she’s does.
“Dear White People” star Tessa Thompson sizzles as Adonis’ soulful beau, Bianca. She’s strong and sultry, yet vulnerable and vicious– a fighter’s girl. Thompson is relatively new on the scene. From the long locked hair to the pale artsy freedom, she has this Lisa Bonet-Cosby Show aura.
“Creed”, in theaters Thanksgiving week, is a redemptive, complicated story about fighting, family, and fortitude.
4 Stars

Merecedes J. Howze, Movie Scene Queen (Brian Cook/Golden Sky Media)
Merecedes J. Howze, Movie Scene Queen (Brian Cook/Golden Sky Media)

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