Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Tony Bellew
Directed by: Ryan Coogler
Written by: Ryan Coogler, Aaron Covington
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 2 hr. 13 min
For those that think this is just Rocky 7, think again. This is Creed 1, its own story and film. Sure its mostly set in the City of Brotherly Love, and Rocky Balboa is in the ring just ‘one last time,’ but director/writer Ryan Coogler has managed to simultaneously pay homage to Stallone’s baby, while also setting up an equally heart-felt story about a different kind of underdog thrust into the big leagues, looking to set his own path and honor his family name.
Creed gets off to a clumsy start, as it struggles to establish Adonis Creed’s (Michael B. Jordan) motivations for leaving a successful (and safe) office job in favor of boxing cloves. But once we get beyond that opening act, familiar themes from the franchise help settle the film down, and Jordan’s performance well and truly becomes the center piece of this story. As it should be. His character and this film have something to prove to the world after all.
What’s really important for a movie like this, with these characters, settings and themes – is heart. Are you rooting for the hero when he steps into the ring? Did everything leading to the ‘last round’ put you in Creed’s corner? For me the answer was yes, absolutely. The closing moments of this film stirred up the same emotions Rocky 1 and 2 did, but with a new face taking the punches. Delivering a refreshing twist on the familiar that firmly establishes Creed as a success story in its own right.
If you enjoyed the first 2 Rocky’s, and Rocky Balboa (No. 6), then I think you’ll enjoy this too. This delivers the same heart and soul of those slower more thoughtfully crafted films, and stays clear of the cheesy commercially minded histrionics of Rocky 3 and 4. Creed is rated PG-13 for violence and bad language.
This is a great film to watch in a crowded theater. If you wait for the rental, make sure you watch this with a group of friends in front of a nice big TV.
Best Moment: << spoilers >>
For me, the best fight scene happens early in the film when Creed is challenged by Leo ‘The Lion’ Sporino. Each round is a beautifully choreographed single shot, and amazing to watch.