At 7:30 p.m. in the good city of Atlanta, GA, something amazing happened.

Regal Cinemas 18 at Atlantic Station was packed by the time we pulled up. Me, my girlfriend, her friends and mine were forced to sit in the second row, which clearly is not considered prime real estate in the cinephile world. But I loved it. The energy was electric, even though a WB employee resembling Kris Kringle addressed us all, ordering that our phones be turned off for the duration of the film, which destroyed all hopes and dreams of an exclusive live tweet session. The first scene lit up the screen, the opening credits followed, and we all got focused — an unofficial band of brothers and sisters, ready to be entertained.

I was a skeptic. Can Michael B. Jordan actually fill Apollo Creed’s shoes? Is Sylvester too close to the grave to give a compelling performance? Does anyone even really care about a story told in this universe anymore? The answer is yes. Yes, bruh. Yes. Creed snuck up on your boy and I found myself feeling the range of emotions necessary to make a good movie experience. I got hope, I got hype, I got sad and reinvigorated.

Everyone played their part. Mike as the talented youth, Adonis, who needs a chance to find structure in his life. Stallone the wise teacher that finds purpose through sharing his knowledge. Mother Phylicia taking in the son that needed her love. Tessa Thompson, the strong romantic interest, showing Jordan’s lead character about a side of life that he didn’t know — and all of it was good.

The other two stars of this film are the city of Philadelphia and, like previous Rocky films, the fight choreography. Creed is, in many ways, a monument to Philly culture, with shots of young bikers racing through city streets and popping wheelies, a strong sense of musical identity, cheesesteak dates and a strong emphasis on a belief that fighters trained in their gyms are bred the toughest. Michael’s character, Adonis, cuts his teeth in this environment and eventually becomes its champion.

Creed is a must see, for fans of Rocky and the folks that were previously unfamiliar. It’s a watch that you, and all your company, will remember.

Michael B. Jordan just caught his tempo, y’all.

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