Creed (noun): A set of beliefs or aims that guide someone’s actions.
When you imagine the old “Rocky” movies, what do you see? Fighting? Love? Determination? Do you even catch yourself remembering how all the odds were against him? Now, let’s say you either have never seen the “Rocky” movies or you have and are thinking of seeing the new “Creed” film opening in theaters this Thanksgiving.
Because the story of Rocky is so prevalent in the life of Apollo Creed, one of the greatest fighters of all time who was also Rocky’s opponent and later, a friend, one would think that the same elements in the movie “Rocky” would be in “Creed.” But this production has much more to offer. This film embodies multiple themes, countless symbols, an accurate depiction of our generation and quotes that will capture your mind. It doesn’t neatly fit into one genre as it has romance, adventure, action, comedy and drama. Although you could have developed an annoyance with “Rocky” because of the countless sequels, this incredible tale of Apollo Creed’s son is nothing like any of the other films in the franchise.
In “Creed,” Adonis Johnson, Apollo Creed’s son who was born after his death, fights more than just boxing matches. He fights himself, his ego, his independence and his trust issues. With this in mind, I can point out three major life lessons you can learn from this movie. Firstly, “Creed” taught me that you have to let go of your past or it will ruin you. Adonis deals with a lot of anger stemming from being raised without a father and he takes it out through fighting, but sometimes he chooses the wrong battles. He ends up pushing away most of the people close to him by refusing to let go of his rage and Rocky Balboa, his new boxing trainer, even tells him “you’re still caught in the shadow.” This scene demonstrates that Adonis is still grappling with his father’s legacy and his own. Rocky desires to communicate to him that he can’t bring his previous way of doing things into the ring. Rocky also runs into issues when he does not let go of his past because of his wife’s death and his son’s distance from him. These influence his decisions, his training Adonis and even lead to him avoiding his obligations at times.
The next lesson is boxing is more than it seems. Rocky teaches Adonis that sometimes old school methods of training are necessary in order to win and even with Rocky dealing with the demons of his own, he is able to treat Adonis as family. A common theme between the old “Rocky” movies and the new “Creed” is perseverance. Adonis could not only have a dream and give up everything to achieve it, but also he has to realize that starting small is what would cause him to prevail. He sees that boxing is not just about the money, but also about having heart and fighting for a purpose. In teaching him, Rocky explains to Adonis, “As long as you’re talking, you’re not listening.”
The last lesson I learned from this movie is that you need family in all your successes. When Adonis reaches out to Rocky Balboa for help, he learns how to take his life by the reins. Biologically, Adonis had no one by his side, but emotionally, he had people invested in him and his gift. This support keeps him grounded as he learns that family makes a person better. Constantly, he has to prove himself to the world and live up to the standards that his father set. Adonis only wants to make a name for himself, but when Bianca, his love interest in the movie urges him to “Use the name, it’s yours,” that sticks with Adonis. Not only does Adonis absorb this lesson, but Rocky does as well. With Rocky’s wife, Adrian now dead, he has a difficult time doing anything that reminds him of his past life. He only knew his life with Adrian in it, but when Adonis come into the picture, Rocky has the opportunity to be the father Adonis never had.