Rocky Balboa is one of the most influential and powerful movie characters in cinema history. I’m sure thousands would line up to watch a movie where he’s the star, but this is not your fathers old Rocky flick, this is a new and modern step for the Rocky franchise, this is Creed. Creed is directed by Ryan Coogler, and the main stars are Michael B. Jordan(Adonis Johnson), Sylvester Stallone(Rocky, duh), and Tessa Thompson(Bianca).
Apollo Creed is gone, but his legacy in the boxing world is still strong. There are constant reminders of the greatness of Apollo Creed everywhere, even in the city of brotherly love. This made it especially hard for Adonis Johnson to make it in the world, there was more pressure on his shoulders. Fresh off his mega hit, Fantastic 4: Disaster On a Screen, Michael B. Jordan remains at the top of his game in Creed. Jordon did a fantastic job acting as the underdog, with the world on his shoulders.
While Jordan is going to be a star, all of the main supporting actors in Creed were top notch as well. I think Sylvester Stallone stole the show in his supporting role. I didn’t think Stallone had anything left in the tank, but Sly was amazing in Creed. Stallone gave us the usual tough Rocky routine as Adonnis’ manager, but there was a surprising level of warmth to his role. Due to the death of Paulie and Adrian, Balboa clearly seems like a shell of a once great fighter. I thought Stallone did a great job portraying that aspect of the character. Tessa Thompson was solid as Bianca, she played Johnson’s love interest. Bianca was a decent character, but she’s definitely no Adrian, I knew Bianca’s character from the start.
My favorite aspect of the film is the successful mix between the old and new era of the Rocky film franchise. There are a number of Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa references, nostalgia hit me pretty hard during a couple scenes. Philadelphia plays a major part in Creed, she’s still beautiful. After all these years, Philadelphia still embodies grit and determination, two traits that should encapsulate all boxing movies.
Coogler has reinvigorated the Rocky franchise, he added a sense of style and swagger that has been missing since Apollo Creed stepped into the ring. The fight scenes were just brutal, brilliant, and chaotic. Every punch felt real, I sat in my seat like Creed sat in the corner of the ring after a brutal round. Coogler’s direction added a climactic feel to the fight scenes, and the soundtrack fit perfectly with the film. There’s something about a bombastic tuba that makes boxing fights more climactic. Overall, the soundtrack was great, but I could do without Meek Mill even if he’s from Philly.
I loved Creed, but there was one scene that was incredibly stupid. Everyone knows that scene in Rocky where Balboa runs around Philly with followers, correct? Well picture that in Creed, only imagine Johnson running with a bunch of children driving all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes around a suburb in Philly. Sounds dumb right? Well it was incredibly dumb, and it was the one issue I had with the movie.
Aside from one terrible scene, Creed is an incredibly entertaining and effective sports film. Most of the performances in the film were top notch, and there were a few surprises. I absolutely love how Coogler managed to blend the best parts of the old Rocky films, with the new style of Creed. Everything in the film just clicked. Creed is a great film, I give it a 3.5/4. Oh wait my Philadelphia bias is creeping in, scratch that, it’s a 4/4.