So after a waiting period that’s felt like a summer holiday I’m finally getting around seeing Creed. After all the hype and great reviews from America, over here in the UK we’re finally getting a piece of this pie and I have to say it was certainly worth the wait. Creed was everything I was hoping it would be and I’m going to tell you why in this review.
The story can be summed up as the following:
“The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.”
I really enjoyed the story as it felt right in the context of the Rocky film series, but also had a lot of heart, drama and other key elements that made the previous films (especially Rocky 1 & 6) so enjoyable. In some ways I feel like this film has a good few comparisons with the recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens like:
- Both films borrow elements from the previous films in their franchise, but continue the legacy in new ways
- There are familiar callbacks and references the older material for long-term fans
- And even both films are part of franchises people love, they’re definitely different from what’s come before
What Ryan Coogler did with the direction and script was great, the story felt very different, like Rocky‘s story but from a black perspective with modern-day elements incorporated and luckily it all clicked in a real and wonderful way. The film was also hilarious at several points, but it didn’t forget about drama, at points things get aggressive, tense or melancholy and it wasn’t just about the drama in the ring but outside of it too with Adonis and his past, but also his connections with Rocky, his mother, girlfriend and so on and that material is handled so well as its very engaging stuff.
The cast well all fabulous. Michael B. Jordan was great as Adonis “Donnie” Johnson Creed, besides last year’s Fantastic Four, Jordan has once again shown his spectacular talent for acting and in this film Adonis is such a compelling character because of the way he grew, because of his potential and tenacity, but also because of his emotional conflict and motivations too. But Sylvester Stallone, damn, he really brough his A-game as Rocky Balboa. I love Stallone, but this is the best performance he has given as an actor in years, this Rocky was older, more seasoned and wise, but also still had the same fire, humour and heart that we’ve come to love, but it was the way Stallone showed emotion and carried his dramatic moments so well which shocked me. And together, Jordan and Stallone had really good chemistry as you watched Adonis and paired up with Rocky and saw their relationship through their ties with Apollo and boxing. Tessa Thompson was also great as Bianca, I thought she’d be just a generic love interest, but there was a surprising amount of depth to her character and Phylicia Rashad was very good as Mary Anne Creed and had a good few wonderful moments. And finally Tony Bellew as “Pretty” Ricky Conlan made for an impressive antagonist, he was big, mean, cocky and had a short fuse. Oh and shout out to Wood Harris as Tony “Little Duke” Evers.
I also loved the way the action was shot, just like Rocky Balboa, the fight choreography was very realistic, fast and intense, but even more so than before, fights in this film felt like they hit harder, were a little more violent and because of the really close camera work and tracking shots you really got to feel like you were inside the ring experiencing the drama from both sides. The film score by Ludwig Göransson was good especially how he included the old Rocky themes and it was also interesting how the hip hop music was added to the film, some of it felt nice and some of it wasn’t entirely necessary.
In conclusion Creed was a solid spin-off/continuation of this franchise, it had the right amount of drama, action and heart that was necessary for this series to come back to the public. This film is right up there is Rocky 1 & 6 and I would recommend it highly especially if you’re a fan.
So have you seen Creed and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀