Creed directed by Ryan Coogler
The last time we left off from Rocky, he was getting his face pummeled by the reigning champion of the world in a movie that was considered decent, mostly because Rocky 5 was so damn awful just about anything could beat it. In the review business, this is called getting a pass.
I finally watched Creed tonight and I must say, after all the accolades and positive reviews, I was a little biased going in. This was the obvious movie that should have been made after Rocky 4, when Ivan Drago beat Rocky to a pulp. In a way, this was the movie they tried to make, but failed miserably with a contrived plot and “getting back to basics” motif that plagued Rocked 5. (I mean, come on, he lost all of his money?)
Rocky 4 will always be my favorite Rocky film. It was over the top awesomeness wrapped in a blanket of patriotism and a hardcore soundtrack. Creed, is a film that restores the feel of a boxing film, but updated for modern times. Adonis watches clips of 24/7 from HBO that we have all come to know in the past decade. He is a man trying to live up to a name and a destiny that calls to him.
And for the first time in a while, Michael B. Jordan actually looks like he trained hard to fit the role. Not since Will Smith in Ali has an actor tried so hard to look the part of a boxer and I applaud him for that. Sylvester Stallone did a pretty good job as Rocky in the more subdued way. I think as far as Academy Award nominations, it is obvious that Jordan got screwed while Stallone got a gift. The story itself was pretty contrived, mostly to play emotional beats at key times in the movie. When he opens the box at the end, I think my eyes caught a whiff of some onions being cut in the kitchen. It was interesting how the director chose to do more of an up close boxing action shot, which was pretty hard to follow at times. This isn’t how we watch boxing matches in real life, and I think 99.99% of the population won’t step in the boxing ring, so this was a pretty odd choice. The only thing I could think of was that it allowed him to make a lot of cuts and limit the choreography.
Overall, it was a solid coming of age story, that I think was a step up from the last few Rocky films. I think I would want to see Creed 2 and follow what happens in his next bout. Will I be buying this movie on blu-ray and watching it 5 times in the next 10 years? Probably not, mostly for the same reasons why I don’t watch the original Rocky very often.
Movie Scorecard: 151-130 Adonis, 149-131 Adonis, 152-129 Adonis (8 out of 10 Stars)