Title – Creed (2015)
Director – Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station)
Cast – Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris
Plot – Adonis Johnson (Jordan), the son of famed boxer Apollo Creed teams up with legendary retired boxer Rocky Balboa (Stallone) to prove that he too has what it takes to rule the ring.
“Time takes everybody out; time’s undefeated”
Review by Eddie on 15/04/2016
Like Rocky Balboa himself, fighting against the odds to achieve the ultimate glory, Creed, the movie that no one but the most diehard of Rocky and Stallone fans wanted, became one of last year’s feel good hits, commercially and critically and even became an Oscar nominee in concerns to industry veteran Sylvester Stallone’s considered and effective supporting turn.
The success of Creed came as a surprise to even the most optimistic of movie lovers and while Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler keeps his film firmly planted in the boxing movie 101 handbook, he and his team do enough with the formula to give Creed a different flavour, from it’s intense in your face boxing matches, its often witty and smart script and a finale that thankfully doesn’t feel over drenched in schmaltz ridden life lessons or unbelievable feats.
It was a wise move for Creed’s behind the scenes team to nab Coogler for the directional job, his a promising young director that has in the space of Fruitvale Station and now Creed, developed himself into a director to watch with his keen eye and deft hand with emotion a feature of his work and it’s understandable as to why Marvel have signed him up to helm their Black Panther venture.
Coogler’s success with both Fruitvale and Creed also stem from his working collaboration with actor Michael B. Jordan, who seemingly shuns his terrible turn and experience in the Fantastic Four to deliver a great turn here as Apollo Creed’s very own son Adonis. Jordan looks the part (after an 11 month training regime) and does a fine job with his emotional scenes and it was never going to be an easy task for someone to shun The Italian Stallion to a supporting role but Jordan is the focus of this film and doesn’t let it down even with Stallone on almost career best form.
While his never been one to leave things where they should be, the should’ve stopped examples of the Rambo franchise and The Expendable’s clear examples of this, Stallone was talked into appearing once more as his most beloved creation and he would be mightily glad he came back for another round.
Displaying nuance as an actor and letting Jordan take lead, Stallone is effective and likeable once more and it’s the best incarnation of Rocky Balboa we’ve seen since the original. Taking on the Micky role of the first film, Stallone doesn’t exactly push himself but it’s great to see him finally deliver a turn once more that shows he can in fact act.
Creed in many ways is what it is, a boxing movie we’ve seen numerous times before but it’s delivered in a fashion that elevates the material above what it is, even though it’s by no means an outright knock out. Coogler and his actors have worked together to give us a feel good sporting film and against all the odds, leave us wanting more from the Rocky universe, which 12 months ago would’ve seemed like a near impossibility.
3 ½ privacy invading tortoises out of 5