RELEASED 2015 RUNTIME 133 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION RYAN COOGLER SCREENPLAY RYAN COOGLER, AARON COVINGTON STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN, SYLVESTER STALLONE, TESSA THOMPSON, PHYLICIA RASHAD, ANTHONY BELLEW, GRAHAM McTAVISH, RITCHIE COSTER MUSIC LUDWIG GORANSSON
Creed is the 7th movie in the Rocky franchise and actually more of a spin-off than a true sequel, hence the name Creed. It’s not about Rocky Balboa, who at this point is retired and running his restaurant, but about the son of Apollo Creed, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan).
Adonis is a rough kid, living in a juvenile detention center and constantly getting involved in fights. He eventually wants to become a boxer, since it’s in his blood, and seeks out Rocky Balboa, the one guy who beat Apollo and became best friends with him before his death.
I will start my review with something that has been a topic recently because of the new Star Wars movie. People like to criticize the Force Awakens for being too similar to the original.
I already stated my opinion about this in my Star Wars review and I will also state it again with Creed because Creed falls in the same category. Yes, it is similar to the original Rocky. If you have watched Rocky and have seen the end, you know the end of Creed and essentially the story with a few deviation here and there, just like in the Force Awakens. Is it a bad thing? No! Why? Because if you think about it, every movie in a franchise copies the original concept of the original.
James Bond: you know one movie you know every other. You watch Hunger Games, you know Catching Fire. You watch Raiders of the Lost Ark, you know the other two Indiana Jones films. Btw. Let me sit on Indiana Jones for a second. Everybody LOVES the first 3 movies including myself. But have ever thought about the structure of the films? They are an exact copy of each other, especially the most beloved ones. Raiders Of The Lost Ark and The Last Crusade. Both are basically the exact same movie when you think about it. My point here is, when you try to deviate from a proven concept inside a franchise, people will not like it.
Ok, back to the actual review. The film was pretty good. Do I love it as much as the original Rocky? No because Rocky is a masterpiece and I think the overall setting and characters a stronger. But Creed stands on its own as a great addition to the franchise.
Michael B. Jordan is great as Apollos son and you even start to see a resemblance. But he wasn’t the highlight for me. It’s Sylvester Stallone!
He is fantastic, even though he is just in a supporting role this time.
We know that Sylvester Stallone can act, but the fact that he does it this late in his career, where it seems like he is done with serious acting, is remarkable. Btw. He is nominated for an Oscar. Do I have to say more?
I love the music in this film! Since the film is centered around Adonis Creed the music and atmosphere feel very Afro-American. We have a mix of Hip Hop, Downbeat and even some jazz-RnB sprinkled throughout.
Bianca (Tessa Thompson) plays the love interest of Adonis. Did you know she can sing? And holy shit, she can! She contributes to 3 songs in the film, which play a big role in the movie. But did you know she is not an actual music artist? I was looking up Spotify immediately after the movie to find out about her album, which I didn’t find because there is none. Tessa, if you read this, which you are not, please get together with the producer that you recorded the music with and make an album! I love that downbeat electronics stuff and I want MORE!
Before I end this review, let me mention the fight scenes. WOW! There is a particular fight scene in this movie which is shot in one take and I have no idea how they have done it. The fighters get cuts in their face in real time and the camera keeps revolving around them for 3+ rounds. Amazing. This has never been done in a boxing movie. Great stuff!
So is Creed what I was hoping to see from a Rocky spin off? Yes it is. Is it similar to Rocky? Yes it is, but that’s what I wanted and that’s what I expected. If you are fan of the Rocky franchise you will most likely love this film because in my opinion it is the 3rd or 4th best (have to rewatch Rocky II) behind Rocky and Rocky Balboa aka Rocky VI.
One thing that kept it from being great is that some scenes were not as fleshed out as I would have liked. There is one scene in particular involving Adonis and his girlfriend Bianca that builds up to a dramatic clash, but then it gets fixed and nothing really happens. Very inconsequential. Maybe 10 – 15 extra minutes would have helped.