After a shaky start in life, Adonis Creed, son of the legendary boxer, Apollo Creed, has a good stable job and a wealthy lifestyle but he gives it all up for the chance to realise his dreams of becoming a champion boxer. After being rejected from the gym that his father trained at, he approaches Rocky Balboa, his father’s rival from many years ago. Can the ageing legend help Adonis to fulfil his destiny or will life for both of them get in the way?

Creed (2015) – Director: Ryan Coogler

Is Creed appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 133 mins

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson

Genre: Sport, Drama

REVIEW

‘Creed’ is the seventh instalment of the ‘Rocky’ franchise but, rather than focusing entirely on its former eponymous hero, the star of the show is now Adonis (Donnie) Creed, the son of Rocky’s rival and good friend, Apollo Creed who was tragically killed many years before. The film forgoes the usual ‘rags to riches’ approach as Donnie doesn’t have a difficult childhood or tough life to overcome. Although he spends time in juvenile detention at a young age, he is soon taken in by his father’s widow and lives a comfortable and happy life with her. With this plot staple removed, the weight of responsibility for connecting with the audience rests on Michael B. Jordan as Donnie’s challenges simply come from within himself. He knows he has potential and the legendary Rocky Balboa inspires him to fully realise it, as well as become somewhat of a father figure to him.

The love story between Donnie and Bianca is a little contrived, seeming to be there more to give Donnie another character to interact with (and Tessa Thompson is much easier on the eye than Sylvester Stallone!). The chemistry between them is lacking in intensity but it is nice with only a few conflicts and is perfectly watchable; thankfully it doesn’t take anything away from the blossoming rapport between Donnie and Rocky. What is good to see is Donnie’s improvement as the movie progresses; even those of us who know little about boxing can see him become stronger, faster and generally better due to the training her receives from Rocky and his friends (as, realistically, Rocky’s age prevents him from helping with every aspect of Donnie’s training).

With the number of Rocky movies becoming slightly laughable, ‘Creed’ breathes fresh air into a dated franchise, its  energy and realism stands out to be more than the expected plodding sixth sequel. With Stallone’s worthy Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor and the up-and-coming Michael B. Jordan at the helm, this is a movie that doesn’t need its predecessors to validate it.

IS ‘CREED’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

The opening of the movie is set in a youth prison and two boys fight, throwing heavy punches at each other’s faces while other boys egg them on. The two are pulled apart within a few minutes and there is no permanent injury to either of them.

As might be expected, there are several boxing matches throughout the movie. They start off quite tame with punches being shown to connect but no suffering or severe injury is seen. The fights get progressively worse with close up and slow motion shots of hard punches to the face and body. Some of the punches are so hard that they throw the fighter’s head sharply to the side and their faces are distorted from the force of the blows. There is some blood, especially in one particular fight where each fighter receives a cut near their eyes, blood is spat out into buckets and it drips and splashes onto the ring. One character has a severe injury which makes his eye red and swollen so much that it completely closes. These injuries do cause the fighters pain but they do not suffer badly and tend to get up to continue fighting.

A couple become intimate and remove their clothes. The woman sits on the man’s lap facing him and takes off her top, a small amount of her lace bra is shown, the camera then cuts to the man lying on top of the woman, kissing her while both are naked. Nothing graphic is shown but it is clear that their relationship has become physical. The couple have had a tentative relationship up until this point and nothing about it is rushed, their intimacy is genuine and based on romantic feelings.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

‘Creed’ brings a dated franchise into the 21st Century and can also be enjoyed as a movie in its own right without the need to watch the previous ‘Rocky’ movies. While those who aren’t interested in sports/boxing films may not be convinced, this is a drama for anyone who enjoys solid acting and chemistry between characters. Due to some bad language, several fight scenes and this being more of a drama-led story than action, we feel this movie is most appropriate for kids aged 9 and over.

  • Violence: 3/5 (numerous boxing matches which often result in injury)
  • Emotional Distress: 3/5 (A character becomes ill and refuses the treatment they need to get better, this leads to emotional scenes between them and the people who care about them)
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (there is a short but tense moment between Donnie and a man who becomes overly aggressive due to him thinking that he is being disrespected. The two face off against each other and punches are thrown)
  • Sexual Content: 4/5 (a character picks up a magazine with a naked woman on the front. This is shown for around two seconds and nothing graphic is seen)     
  • Bad Language: 4/5 (infrequent moderate cursing and blasphemy, a couple of strong words are used. There is also some moderate cursing in the lyrics of songs)
  • Dialogue: 2/5 (A character faces several years in prison for ‘waving a gun around’. A character says ‘I’m gonna smash this kid to bits’)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of not relying on a parents’ fame for success, starting a career from the bottom and working your way up, the effect that the lack of a parental presence has on a child, not giving up on your dreams, believing in yourself and those around you and accepting help from the people you trust.
  • There is a strong message of sportsmanship throughout the movie, there is rivalry between fighters before matches but no grudges are held and after almost every fight, both participants show respect to one another.

 

Words by Laura Record

Creed [Blu-ray] [2016] [Region Free]


New From: £6.26 GBP In Stock

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