Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone’s Italian Stallion devises a strategy to defeat Mr T’s Clubber Lang. He endures a devastating beating in the earlier rounds, which frustrates and exhausts his opponent. Just when he can take no more, Rocky springs to action at the end, and with powerful, dextrous blows, he finally knocks the baddie on his ear. Creed, the seventh film in the Rocky series, but the first neither written nor directed by Stallone, works in a similar manner. Its opening act is staggering in its inelegance, but the film keeps pounding through the predictable set-up and storyline until finally, when you think it can fight no longer and will have to throw in the towel, it charges back with some scenes of originality, pathos and, in ever-so-swift jabs, excitement. If you want to put yourself through this punishment, it’s probable you’ll come out the other end finding some merit.