Creed SPOILER-FREE Review
When I first heard that they were thinking about making a Rocky spin-off film, following Apollo Creed's son, I thought it was a stupid idea. They've made five Rocky sequels, and none of them have come close to being as great as the original, Academy Award winning movie. It's time to put the franchise to rest. But the more I was hearing about the spin-off, the more interested I became. Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) would be taking on a mentor role, and wouldn't actually fight (in the ring, that is). Fruitvale Station's director Ryan Coogler and star Michael B. Jordan were brought on, and suddenly this film became a lot more credible. As the film got closer to release, hype began to build to the point where I was through the roof excited to see this film. While it didn't quite meet my unrealistic expectations, Creed is an awesome movie that is definitely more than just a spin-off, but rather a great retelling of the classic Rocky story.
Adonis Creed (Jordan) has wanted to become a boxer his whole life, feeling some sort of pressure to live up to the family name. He's gotten into fights at school, in prison, pretty much everywhere. Adonis takes on his mother's name so that he can fight on his own merit, and not his father's, and seeks out the help of a retired and older Rocky (Stallone) to train him. The two then proceed to work together so that they can both fight, but for different reasons.
Michael B. Jordan is spectacular in this role. With this film, he proves yet again that he is one of the rising talents in Hollywood. He's going to be around for a while, I can tell you that. Sylvester Stallone is also great, with a lot more reserved and emotional performance than we've seen from him in the past. At this point, Rocky is done fighting and no longer has the spark or the passion for it. But after meeting Apollo Creed's son, he becomes excited with the possibility, and is right back at it. The chemistry between the two was really good, and they worked well together. In a way, Rocky became the father Adonis never really had, and you see that relationship and dynamic on screen.
The boxing scenes are also incredible. They were filmed and choreographed excellently. There's one scene where the fight is entirely one take, and I was breathless watching it. The amount of preparation needed and the skill of the actors and crew for them to pull that off is mind-boggling. The fight scenes were bloody and hard; you felt the punches. It felt real. But it never became gratuitous, or too much. You were watching these fights cheering and pumping your chest. The final fight at the end of the movie is awesome, and is what really pushed this film over the top for me. The story for Creed was also really good. It was simple, but in a good way. It didn't need an overly complicated plot at all. It's basically a man wants to become a boxer to live up to his family name, and that's all the film needed to be. Ryan Coogler also did a fantastic job writing and directing this film.
Like any movie, there were some parts that could have been trimmed in order to make it more lean. But my only real criticism for Creed is that it thought it had more heart than it did. It had a lot of emotional scenes, and I felt the relationship between Rocky and Adonis, but it never hit that emotional peak that I wanted it to. Instead it almost got there, and then the rest of the movie acted like it did get there. I don't know if the film needed an extra scene or what, but it just needed a little extra kick in there so that you really felt it when everything is going down. I don't know how they could have done it, but there was just a little something missing there.
Overall, Creed is an awesome, fun and entertaining film. It reunites director Ryan Coogler with Michael B. Jordan, and brings in Rocky himself, Sylvester Stallone. The story is simple but effective; it didn't over-complicate the film. The performances by Jordan and Stallone are really good, and they have a great chemistry on screen. The boxing scenes are absolutely fantastic, and are excellently shot and choreographed. However, some parts of the movie could have been tightened up a bit, and the movie could have used a little bit more heart in there to really make the audience feel it when everything accumulates at the end. But, in the end, similar to Adonis himself, Creed is very worthy of its father's name... just this time the name is Rocky.
What do you think? Have you seen Creed? Did you like it? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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