For those with ADD: “Creed” isn’t as entertaining as “Rocky/Rocky II/Rocky IV,” but it is more or as emotionally satisfying as the first two “Rocky” movies.  The seventh “Rocky” movie is worth watching, especially with lead actor Michael B. Jordan doing a great job playing the title role.

Stallone, playing Rocky Balboa for the seventh (!) time, is all alone.  His wife has succumbed to cancer; brother-in-law Paulie is also dead; his son is in Canada somewhere; and of course his closest friends Mickey and Apollo Creed have died many years ago.  Quietly living out his old age running his restaurant, Stallone is visited by a young man (played by Jordan) who is the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed.  Jordan, a born fighter, wants to be a champion prizefighter like his father, and he wants Stallone to train him.

At first Stallone doesn’t want anything to do with boxing anymore.  Train the son of his friend who died in a boxing match, a match that Stallone could have ended by throwing in the towel but didn’t because Apollo wanted to go all the way no matter what?  No, that’s too much of an emotional burden to put on himself.  But…Jordan keeps coming back and it is clear Jordan will pursue boxing with or without Stallone’s help.  Stallone eventually caves in and trains the young man; they quickly form a father/son bond, each filling a void in the other’s heart as they train for a championship bout that has the potential to destroy Jordan’s career before it even really started.

Number 4 in my most memorable, movie moments of “Creed” goes to the scene when Stallone writes on a piece of paper some exercise drills for Jordan to do on his own.  Jordan takes a picture of the paper using his cell phone, then gives the paper back to Stallone.  Confused, Stallone asks why Jordan gave back the paper.  Jordan says it’s already in his phone.  But what happens if the phone is lost, Stallone asks.  Jordan says it’s already in the cloud.   Stallone looks up and asks, “What cloud?”

Number 3 goes to the scene when Jordan has to take a “number two” right before a fight!  His gloves are already on, and he yells for Stallone to cut the gloves off because he has to take a dump in the toilet.  Stallone hesitates, and Jordan asks if he’s going to wipe his ass for him.  Off comes the gloves!

**SPOILER ALERT**The scene that takes the number 2 spot of my memorable moments of this movie is the part when Stallone reveals to Jordan that he has cancer, and he is not planning to have any treatments done.  He explains to Jordan that everyone whom he has ever loved is gone, and that he decided a long time ago that if his body ever broke, he won’t fix it.  Stallone also hints that he wants to die so he can see his wife again.  Jordan then asks the old boxer about the relationship they have with each other, asking if they are a family, suggesting that Stallone has something to live for.  Stallone lies to the young man and tells him they are nothing more than boxer and trainer.  Why Stallone said this…maybe it was to spare Jordan of the sadness of Stallone’s passing in the near future, or maybe it is because Stallone doesn’t want to be pitied.  Whatever the reason, Jordan was hurt tremendously, and this is the most emotional scene of the movie because Jordan now feels as if he has been abandoned twice: first by his biological father, and now by his father figure/trainer.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Creed” is the scene when Stallone visits the Art Museum steps where he had ended so many of his runs in the first two movies.  Where in the past Stallone flew over the steps four or five at a time, he now walks slowly with the help of Jordan, and frequently needing to stop every few steps.  I was a boy  when I first started watching “Rocky” movies, and now I am nearing middle age.   I still work out often, as Stallone has done when he was my age; but as Stallone has said early in “Creed,” time gets to you.   You can slow it down, but eventually it gets to you.  I watch this scene and grieve for the loss of youth of one of my favorite, action heroes; and I think of the day when I will struggle to walk up a flight of steps…but with old age comes life, because only the living grow old.

— M

 

 

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