Michael B. Jordan
“Creed” is such a good movie, and the combination of director Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan brings collaboration from this pair that we witnessed in “Fruitvale,” the story of Oscar Grant, who was killed by police in San Francisco during the first days of the year 2009.
“Creed” brings Jordan, who plays Adonis Johnson, and Sylvester Stallone, who plays Rocky Balboa, together, as Creed continues his quest to be a boxer. He has left his job with a brokerage firm and leaves Los Angeles to move to Philly in search of his roots, maybe, but certainly an opportunity to box.
Up until then, the film reveals that Creed had been in foster homes, until his “adoptive grandmother” Phylicia Rashad, who is Creed’s widow, comes to take custody of him. He is young and had been getting into trouble at the group home because he enjoys fighting.
Rashad, who maternally plays Mary Anne, isn’t pleased with Creed boxing and a little upset that he decides to leave his luxurious home to follow his dream. Creed is a little rough around the edges; he needs training, even though he has won fights in Tijuana, Mexico.
He shows up at Adrian’s restaurant, named after Rocky’s late wife (all the background is detailed in the six-saga Rocky franchise of films that begin in 1976.) Creed carries on the tradition of this franchise.
Rocky isn’t too keen on the idea of Creed just showing up, as he isn’t interested in training anyone, anymore. But Creed sort of grows on him, and the chemistry between the two men is magnificent! Creed is tough as nails, and Jordan delivers a fine performance. Rocky is Rocky, and his lines and stubborn demeanor fit into the mode, but he gradually softens, while still winning our hearts after all these years. Tessa Thompson from “Dear White People” fame stars as Creed’s love interest and is as beautiful as ever. She at first is more interested in her music than Creed. But when you are holed up in a starter Philadelphia apartment, fate takes its course, and the two end up together, but not before Creed is baptized in all that is “Philly Cheese steak.”
Creed finally reclaims his “name,” after having been reluctant to do so, and travels to London to fight the reigning champion there. At the end of “Creed” it appears that this is such a good franchise that can continue, as long as Stallone is around and vested in a film that has made him big bucks.
The movie is inspirational, entertaining, nostalgic (for those who have been around long enough to see the first Rocky), a love letter to Philly and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (which is the spot where the Rocky statue sits). I’ve been to Philly a couple of times, and the first time, our guide was excited to show us the statue and the great curation inside the museum itself.
“Creed” was number three at the box office for its first weekend. It’s playing at theaters throughout the area.
Yours Truly, Elaine Hegwood Bowen, discusses “Old School Adventures from Englewood—South Side of Chicago.” After participating on a panel at DePaul University as part of the “Chicago as a Mosaic Series: Englewood, Past, Present and Future,” sponsored by the Egan Office of Urban Education and Community Partnerships at the Steans Center with Deborah Thompson and Aysha Butler, I am off to New York’s Teacher’s College at Columbia University to participate in a panel titled “Let’s Talk About Chicago,” as part of the New York African Diaspora International Film Festival on December 6. I will read from my book, and Chicago-themed movies will be screened, namely “70 Acres in Chicago” and “Takin’ Place,” hosted by filmmaker/producer Yvonne Welbon. This is a film festival that comes to Chicago each June, with screenings at Facets on West Fullerton Street. So, look for it next year.
Elaine Hegwood Bowen is the author of “Old School Adventures from Englewood—South Side of Chicago.” For book information http://tinyurl.com /om4hvgo or emaileditor- [email protected].