Packs a pow­er­ful punch

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES - Leigh Paatsch

CREED (M) Di­rec­tor: Ryan Coogler (Fruit­vale Sta­tion) Star­ring: Michael B. Jor­dan, Sylvester Stallone, Tony Bellew, Tessa Thomp­son, Phyli­cia Rashad Ver­dict: Main at­trac­tion a knock­out, but so is the un­der­card

YOU would think that by round seven of a marathon stint in the movie-box­ing ring that be­gan in 1976, Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky fran­chise would be dead on its feet.

Well, don’t go throw­ing in the towel on all things Rocky Bal­boa just yet.

Creed not only de­serves to be men­tioned in the same breath as the Os­car-win­ning orig­i­nal (some­thing which can­not be said of any other Rocky se­quel). It is also a crack­ing crowd-pleaser of a drama when as­sessed on its own mer­its.

Those who know their old Rocky movies will recog­nise the ti­tle as a shout-out to the champ’s fiercest ri­val, the late, great Apollo Creed.

All you really need to know about this new Rocky movie is that it will be Apollo’s lit­tle-known il­le­git­i­mate son Ado­nis (Michael B. Jor­dan) who will be tak­ing his shot at a world cham­pion belt.

So where does old Rocky Bal­boa him­self (played with en­dear­ing good hu­mour and poignancy by Stallone) tie in to all of this malarkey? He’ll be the kid’s trainer, of course. And he won’t be do­ing it strictly by the book.

Nei­ther will Creed when it truly counts. Sure, it has a for­mula to ad­here to, but it is how and when its fa­mil­iar el­e­ments are added that will score highly with many judges.

The X fac­tor work­ing hard and ef­fec­tively in Creed’s favour is its lit­tle-known lead ac­tor, Michael Jor­dan. He is guar­an­teed to be­come a ma­jor star af­ter this, and not just be­cause of his prow­ess in fight scenes. Jor­dan owns a rare screen charisma that keeps a viewer be­liev­ing, even when they shouldn’t.

There’s no bet­ter ex­am­ple of this abil­ity than the ca­reer track record of the young pug he is play­ing: Ado­nis is go­ing toe-to-toe with the best fighter in the world in what is only his sec­ond, prop­erly sanc­tioned pro­fes­sional bout.

Need any fur­ther jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the price of ad­mis­sion to Creed? Just get a load of its spec­tac­u­lar clos­ing stoush, in which Ado­nis puts his dooks up to a Brit brute named “Pretty Ricky” Con­lan (real-life boxer Tony Bellew).

It is not for me to re­veal whether the skir­mish will last its al­lot­ted 12 rounds. How­ever, you should know it is 120 times the spec­ta­cle of that aw­ful May­weather-Pac­quiao farce.

Now show­ing Vil­lage Cine­mas

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