At a certain point, a franchise just kind of dwindles off into the space of being not so great. Rocky is a wonderful franchise for the most part, spanning over decades. Who can doubt Sylvester Stallone as Rocky? Its definitely one of my most memorable roles of his. When I learned that Creed was a sequel to the Rocky franchise, I had my doubts but then out of the blue, Sly gets nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and this immediately went up on my radar.
Let’s check it out! 🙂
Director: Ryan Coogler
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Tony Bellew, Ritchie Coster
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.-IMDB
Rocky’s franchise has had its highs and lows. I still find a certain level of enjoyment out of a good portion of them but Creed, that’s another story. I’m not even going to tease you anymore. Creed is amazing. It pays the most respect to Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa and brings back a modernized version of Rocky but its not about Rocky Balboa, even though he’s still the tough guy we know. Creed might get a lot of points for nostalgia and just how much we’ve learned to love the characters over the years and the sequels. It knows how to tap into our emotions by having Sylvester Stallone have his moment with Adrian and the memory of her. What’s great is that this fight is important to Adonis but he also has these stunted emotions that he needs to learn to embrace but still show that he genuinely cares for Rocky as well and be there for the fight. Its a story about the relationship built between Rocky and Adonis and one about Adonis embracing who he is (the son of Apollo Creed) but also who he wants to be.
Creed does good with the music they choose to match the story. It does well in giving the story life by moving it in a same but different direction. The story is paced well and the characters are ones that we can learn to love and hate. It never gets overly complicated but still manages to give us the boost of motivation and determination as Adonis fights to be better and excel at this passion. A lot of the cinematography is done well to capture the moment. What does need to be mentioned is that Creed is the new age Rocky. Perhaps knowing and loving the Rocky franchise before will make it loved even more but the movie does give a bit of back story to make sure the audience knows who Apollo Creed is and Rocky and even highlighting a bit of their friendship/”rivalry”.
Its common for older actors to come back and continue their franchises and mock their age and whatnot. Exhibit one is probably the obvious Die Hard and the last entry with Bruce Willis doing an older John McClane. I didn’t think it was all that bad but it definitely was nowhere near the finesse how it was done in Creed. Aging is normal and Rocky Balboa comes back with pretty much the character but more refined and smarter. He still is stubborn and he’s not quite up to date with what Adonis talks about at times but its a good type of humor plus this one is more of a drama so it doesn’t need to mock himself. With that said, Sylvester Stallone is probably in one of his most thoughtful roles here as well and when he talks about Adrian or his son, I (even my husband) couldn’t help but feel a little emotional.
Most stories nowadays have a little bit of romance. I mean, like I mentioned before, Adrian and Rocky was a memorable couple back in the original Rocky. In this one, Adonis is with an aspiring singer called Bianca, played by Tessa Thompson. Veronica Mars characters just won’t leave me alone (and I really don’t mind it). That aside, Tessa Thompson has grown as an actress. Romance is never a big focus in this franchise but they always do circulate around family and relationships being some sort of motivating force. I’m not exactly sure I really feel or like the character of Bianca a lot. If there was any shortcomings of it, it would be here but I can see her character developing to be more if (probably when) the story of Creed continues.
Overall, Creed is a great addition to the fantastic Rocky franchise. Its possibly my second favorite out of the seven. I had fully intended on rewatching the franchise and reviewing it but I just never got around to it. It should be coming up though. At my home, the husband and I are quite hyped up about this one so I can see it being something we might be doing soon. Great characters, outstanding music, and a nice story to push this franchise forward into a new but nostalgic sort of sports movie. Most importantly, an awesome performance from Sylvester Stallone!
Have you seen Creed? What did you think of it?