Creed - Review
Almost 40 years after the first Rocky graced theaters with its perfectly portrayed underdog story starring Sylvester Stallone, now, in 2015, we have Creed, the story of how the Italian Stallion brought Apollo Creed's son into the boxing world, but does it live up to the massive legacy left behind by its superb co star?
If you have ever seen a Rocky film, Creed follows exactly the same story arc, with Michael B. Jordan instead of Stallone. While this may seem redundant to fans of the classics, this formula translates perfectly into the tropes and cinematography of modern filmmaking. Hero is discovered on the streets, wins his first fight, hero is challenged to a fight with the big guy, training montage, something bad happens to one of the main characters, hero fights the big guy. While the training montages and love interest never live up to the original Rocky, they set a great foundation for possible sequels, which hopefully we will get. The only aspect of Creed that holds it back from greatness is the villain, "Pretty" Ricky Conlan, played by Tony Bellew. He is the definition of a flat character, and the only reason it isn't more noticeable is because the other performances are so good.
Before watching Creed, I was not a fan of Michael B. Jordan, who plays Apollo Creed's son. His poor performance in Fantastic Four, and overall lack of roles didn't make me more excited to see the movie. After watching it however, I have a newfound respect for the actor. He brings a powerful and believable performance to the role, never feeling like a stereotype or trope. His performance reminds me of Rocky, and that's a really good thing. Stallone also gives a superb performance, as we already know he can. Even though this film is about Creed and his journey, Rocky still has his own problems and struggles. He never feels like a vessel for nostalgia or a flat character, but as a helpful hand to be there for the young Creed when he needs him, and vice versa.
This film is an homage to the original Rocky, bringing back many locales and characters from the original films. The film is full of references to the Rocky films, and a scene even takes place with a You Tube video of the famous Creed v Rocky fight in Rocky 2 in the background. The film never feels boring, and the fight scenes are some of the best ever choreographed in a boxing movie. The first fight that takes place between the young Adonis Creed and one of the trainer's sons is spectacular, the whole fight taking place in one shot. The final fight isn't quite as epic as the first, but it still had me rooting for Creed to just punch the guy in the face.
Creed is a spectacular continuation of the Rocky franchise, held back only by its boring villain. If you love boxing, Rocky, or anything at all, go see Creed. It will make you want to be a boxer.
Pros- Michael B. Jordan, Stallone, choreographed fights
Cons- Boring villain