Creed ★★★★★

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Like Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the new entry in ‘The Rocky Legacy’ is punching the refresh button, with a new take on a traditional story. Ryan Coogler’s Creed, an underdog tale sharing the DNA of Rocky marks itself apart within minutes in the fully realized Adonis Johnson, expertly portrayed by Michael B. Jordan. Together with Stallone reprising his role, this ambitious, challenging new perspective adds to the fascinating Philadelphia world whereby men are built and broken by their boxing dreams.

With a release in the US far ahead of this weekend’s UK date, Creed has been celebrated as the best sequel in the series. But, before watching Creed, it is worth remembering that Rocky’s story ended with Rocky Balboa. Between 1976 and 2006, the series built the foundations of a world whereby Balboa is literally put on a podium in Philly. The carefully balanced fade-out in 2006, as Rocky walked from Adrian’s grave was the full-stop to define his exit. Creed is a new beast as Adonis, the illegitimate child of Apollo Creed, is picked up as a child in prison and brought up in the affluence of Apollo’s fame and fortune. Apollo Creed was Rocky’s friend, mentor and the yin to his yang, featuring in the first four films. Crucially, he was...

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