(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Creed is everything that you will love in a Rocky movie, it pays homage to its past movies, and added its own flare which I appreciated for this great franchise.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
The Rocky franchise is probably my favorite cinematic franchise of all time. I just always loved the underdog story they always give for practically each movie, and how the character Rocky Balboa always have to work hard with a side of emotion that adds to the story. You always pull for Rocky to win the big fight. If he wins we celebrate with him, and if he loses, we appreciate his heart he gave in the fight. My favorite fight is probably in Rocky IV against the Russian, Drago played by Dolph Lundgren, which had a lot of political implications in the movie we always appreciated even though the movie story wasn’t that great. The greatest story goes to the first Rocky which won the Oscar for Best Picture. Another movie with a great story, which was a pleasant surprise for me, is Rocky Balboa. A movie about a really old guy fighting again seem so ridiculous, but yet they set it up to sympathize with him once again and hope he brings another good fight. (It was actually a great fight). The worst movie was probably Rocky V, which got away with what the franchise was all about. As most people do, including myself and the movies afterwards, like to forget about that movie. The movie always brings some inspirational quotes which I use for my life. Maybe I will go back to boxing, but I need more motivation. Once they announced Creed, I had my doubts, because Rocky Balboa gave it closure to a great franchise, and justice for the horrific Rocky V, but after seeing the trailer for this movie, it revitalized my faith with a story that will pay its respect to the franchise lore, and give it its own twist. I was right on the money.
What I Like: The story may seem a little basic, almost Rocky V like, but the movie took its time to character develop the character of Adonis Johnson Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan. They made the team up of Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone, a lot of sense for the story. You get a guy with a troubled past who never knew his legendary father, Apollo Creed played by Carl Weathers, who wants to make his own legacy in boxing even though he had it all with his adopted mother, Mary Anne Creed played by Phylicia Rashad. His adopted mother took pity on him from his troubled past of being an orphan and going to juvenile detention facilities. Even though he is proof of Apollo Creed’s infidelity, she knew that this is the best way to avenge for her deceased husband. (by the way, I always hated how Apollo Creed went out in Rocky IV, never thought his death gave him justice, and now this movie did.) Jordan not only was in great shape to be a boxer, but he acted very well for his role showing glimpses of his father attitude and fighting style. He also showed glimpses of Rocky in the early movies showing hard work and dedication to become the best or die trying. I really enjoyed the chemistry between him and Rocky. It was something genuine and showed a lot of love and respect for each other. Rocky never lost his charm which is why we love his character. he is fun and witty, yet passionate with everything he does, which is now training Apollo Creed’s son where he feels he owes him after his death. During the movie when Rocky was having health problems, it brought a big emotion to me. You had to accept the fact, that we may lose a legendary fighter, and I wasn’t ready for that. At least not yet. I also enjoyed the chemistry between Adonis Creed, and his girlfriend, Bianca played by Tessa Thompson. I liked the fact that she is an up and coming musical artist, and provided inspiration for Adonis to not only write his own legacy, but using his father’s name, even though he didn’t want to at the beginning, to give him an identity. They’re relationship reminded me of Rocky and Adrian in the past movies which added the charm to this great franchise. Now they add their own charm between these two new characters. I appreciated how this movie pays homage to their past movies to a point of nostalgia. However, they gave it their own flare of focusing on Adonis Creed, and pretty much passing the torch from Rocky to him. Gives us something more to look forward to. It is still fun to see someone, catching a chicken, and going up the Rocky Steps in the end of the movie. Those iconic moments always give me chills. Director Ryan Coogler really created a boxing movie masterpiece. He made the training montages different (Adding motorbikes and Kendrick Lamar in the soundtrack really added the new flavor to the movie.) What I really enjoyed the most of this movie was the first fight for Adonis Creed versus Leo Sporino, played by Gabriel Rosado. That fight was created masterfully, and Coogler really took a page out of Alejandro G. Inarritu book Birdman style. From the start to the finish it was like they filmed that scene all in one sequence. It was thrilling, and a lot of fun to watch. I actually enjoyed this fight better than the main fight. Coogler also took a page out of the movies Goodfellas of filming a big scene of Adonis, Rocky, and the rest of his crew going out from the locker to the boxing ring. It once again looked as if they filmed it all in one shot, and i appreciate the hard work and dedication they put to makes these scenes awesome and fun. The final fight was no pushover either. It did hold it’s own seeing Adonis Creed go against Ricky Conlan, played by Tony Bellow. This British fighter was talking so much trash, you can’t wait to see Adonis beat his butt. The fight was very bloody and brutal. The makeup crew really made Adonis swollen eye real lifelike, and made me squirm a little bit. When Adonis got knocked down the second time, you felt that hit, but just like Rocky, he got right back up, and manage to knock Conlan down for the first time. Even though Adonis Creed lost in split decision, just like the first Rocky movie and Rocky Balboa, you appreciate the hard work, dedication, and guts he put to bring a great fight.
The So So: There was really nothing in the middle. It had more good than bad.
What I Didn’t Like: The beginning of the movie just felt a bit rushed. You see Adonis fighting inmates in a juvenile detention facility, gets adopted, then he grows up and makes a decision to move to Philadelphia to start his boxing career, and even getting Rocky to train him felt rushed. Once the beginning got out of the way, the movie started to hold it’s own, but i wish they took more time to really make this movie from pretty good, to great.
Overall: Once i saw this movie, I really thought that it should get Oscar consideration for at least Best Picture and Best Director. I thought it was wishful thinking, but it seems like I am not alone on this. This movie could get a lot of Oscar nominations, and it deserves it. If you love the Rocky franchise, you will love this movie. What’s more, is that it sets up to set the franchise to another level in following Adonis Creed’s career and make some more movies. I hope when they do, they will do it right, and continue to add to this great franchise. I don’t want another forgettable movie like Rocky V, and i believe many fans will agree with me on that!!!
Rating: 4.5 Stars