3.5 out of 5 stars
On paper, a remake of Rocky with Apollo’s son, should’ve been a sentimental and abhorrent mess. However while the film’s structure is very conventional and the plot is as predictable as the inevitable inclusion of those training montages but damn if it isn’t so effective plucking those heartstrings exactly right. Michael B. Jordan is a charismatic enough actor to play the lead and the whole cast is very likeable. And don’t get me wrong when I say Sylvester Stallone deserves his Oscar, I do not mean he has gained any acting abilities in the last 40 years but he just slips so naturally back into the role, it literally fits him like a battered boxing glove. So you end up rooting for them all and in turn, the film. And that’s how they set you up and sweep you emotionally off your feet. It’s also a nice touch to make the love interest a musician and incorporates her soulful, modern beats organically into a film that desperately needs to be hipper and more relevant. Nicely done, writer-director Ryan Coogler, for you’ve actually updated and made a cool Rocky film since whenever – now let’s see what you can do with the inevitable sequel.