“Creed” Movie Review
A new fight with a jab of nostalgia.
Creed is the spinoff story from the original Rocky movies, which everyone knows so well. Being from Philadelphia, I should be ashamed that I have never seen ANY of the Rocky films until this one, but come on. I lived in Philly enough to get the big points…
- Fists in the air.
- The Art Museum steps.
- The painting at the end of the one film.
I get enough of it. This is a new story starring Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson- Creed and of course Sylvester Stallone is back as Rocky Balboa. Adonis, who goes by Don or Donny in the film, is the son of the famed Apollo Creed who is a troubled young child until Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad), the wife of Apollo Creed, takes him out of the juvenile care system. She is not his actual mother, but feels that she should care for him. He grows up in a nice house with her and even gets a great job at a financial institution. However, he does not feel that this is where he belongs, so he quits. He leaves Los Angeles to travel to Philadelphia and asks Rocky to train him to fight. Rocky is resistant but ultimately agrees to help him. The rest of the story proceeds from there, ultimately culminating in a major match to end the film.
In this film, the cinematography is incredible. The way that the camera moves about during a fight truly engages the audience and creates a world and a space all its own. There are scenes where Donny is fighting and gets knocked down that are so beautifully shot. These shots provide a beauty to an otherwise gruesome sight, filled with blood, bruises, and cuts.
The storyline between Rocky and Donny seems like it would be forced and awkward but there develops a love and respect for one another through the story. Rocky has become a lonely man, isolated by the loss of all his friends and loved ones. When Donny arrives at Rocky’s restaurant, he is hesitant but kind. Their relationship blossoms as they learn to help each other fight their own separate battles. They even become family to one another and live together.
There were some great supporting characters, including Bianca (Tessa Thompson), Donny’s love interest in the film. She provides a lot of support for Donny and keeps him grounded in the film. The actors that played the other fighters in the film were pretty good, but nothing I found particularly notable.
One thing that I could say I did not like was some of the musical choices in the film. There was this weird hip-hop style that I did not enjoy or feel fit into the tone of the film very well. There is also one really out of place scene where there are bikers that ride alongside Donny while he is running to see Rocky. It looks so strange and out of place. Think Mad Max scene with people on dirt bikes and 4 wheelers in the middle of the city of Philadelphia. Odd, very odd.
I will end this film on a positive note by saying that the film did a stellar job of working with beloved material and providing just the right level of nostalgia and references to the old films. With a story that is so well known and loved, it would’ve been really easy to take all the same things and use them. This film did it but in a very sparingly way. It is not overdone and because of this, the film stands on its own as a pretty incredible film, with love, heart, inspiration and of course, Rocky!