Satisfaction is 100% requited when a movie, not only delivers, but blasts predicted ennui, gifting viewers exactly what is needed from a two -hour respite; escaping protestors, gruesome headlines, ubiquitous shoppers.
“Rocky Balboa” (Sylvester Stallone’s iconic franchise) after forty years, comfortable with his fame, history and age, is now training “Adonis Creed”, the illegitimate son of “Apollo Creed”; Michael B. Jordan (“Fruitvale Station”) is powerfully perfect as a neophyte boxer, fighting the ironclad, flawless reputation of his father; refreshingly humble, lacking the arrogant, hot-tempered fighter- prater, pervasive since the days of Mohammad Ali (to date, no one has done the “babble” better); trainer and trainee, brilliantly directed by 29- year- old Ryan Coogler, pulsate with legitimate chemistry, beautifully eliminating maudlin, mushy sentimentality; particularly effective after Rocky is diagnosed with cancer.
“Bianca”, (hypnotically lovely Tessa Thompson) secure in her own capabilities, efficaciously infuses her relationship with Adonis with the proper dosage of “p. and v.”, love and tenderness.
The “fight”, the perennial, potent anchor of all boxing films takes place in Liverpool, England where Adonis, the ultimate underdog, challenges the heavyweight champion “ Pretty” Ricky Conlan” (actual champ, Tony Bellew); unlike the hugely- hyped, tediously dull May 2, 2015 fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, fiction “champions” reality and this battle soars; each bloody, eye-splitting round fraught with tension, awe, nerve- wracking magnificence; audiences cheered at the finale.
“Creed” perhaps paves the way for an eighth “Rocky” film, proving that old boxers never die, “just fade away”.