Weekly Review: Creed (2015)

Adonis Johnson has always been a fighter. When he learns that his father was famous boxer Apollo Creed, he channels that passion into boxing. With the help of the retired Rocky Balboa, Adonis hopes to make a name for himself and prove his worth.

Despite having a different name as the title, Creed is the seventh movie in the Rocky franchise. The only Rocky film I’ve ever watched is the first one, so jumping into a sequel so far down the line, I was a bit confused at some of the plot points. This doesn’t take away from the fact that Creed is a really great film on its own, returning to the glory that the franchise began with.

The main character of Creed is played by Michael B. Jordan, known from other movies such as Fantastic 4, That Awkward Moment, and Fruitvale Station. I was really impressed with his performance in this film. I really felt the emotions he was trying to convey. I thought the scenes he shared with Sylvester Stallone, who returns as Rocky Balboa, were really cute. I felt that it was a really good attempt at bringing the feelings that go along with Rocky to a new generation.

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The director of Creed is Ryan Coogler, who worked once before with Michael B. Jordan in his feature directorial debut with Fruitvale Station. From what I’ve seen in Coogler’s work, he does a decently good job of making characters seem relatable. It’s hard to believe that Creed is only his second feature film. That just blows my mind. Next up on Coogler’s list will be the Marvel feature film Black Panther. That’s a pretty stunning resume.

I mentioned previously that Creed returns to the glory of the first Rocky film, produced in 1976. Before the many sequels, there was this really great film, but over time, the many sequels almost made the Rocky franchise into a bit of a running joke. That’s how I knew of it at least. I feel like Creed reverses this. Creed shows that the franchise still has something to give to viewers, even if that involves passing the torch to someone new.

The story follows Adonis, who spends a lot of his childhood in the system. His mother has passed away. He doesn’t know his father. He’s been living in the foster system, and he’s having a difficult time because of his fighting tendencies. One day, he meets a woman who tells him that his father was Apollo Creed, and she takes him into her home.

Now knowing who his father is, Adonis channels his inclination to fight into a desire to be a boxer. He watches old matches and teaches himself the moves. He eventually travels to Philadelphia to try to get someone to train him. Throughout the movie, you get to see whether Adonis wants to emulate his father or wants to surpass him. Overall, I really enjoyed the story.

I don’t have too much to say about production value. It was good. It looked like what your typical sports movie should look like. I know Rocky “wasn’t a boxing movie,” but boxing is a really large part, so the style of Creed fits that mold.

Overall, Creed was just a really good film. I enjoyed it a lot. From what I’ve seen in other reviews, it seems pretty critically acclaimed. I know Stallone received an Oscar nomination for his part. I felt that Jordan could have gotten an Oscar nod as well, but that didn’t happen.

If you were a fan of the original Rocky film, then I would definitely give Creed a chance. It’s a pretty good film with some heartwarming, tension-filled, and comedic moments. I do recommend it.

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