Releases November 25th 2015
1 hrs 35 mins
Director: Ryan Coogler
Writer: Ryan Coogler, Aaron Covington
Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson Creed
Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa
Tessa Thompson as Bianca
Phylicia Rashād as Mary Anne Creed
Tony Bellew as "Pretty" Ricky Conlan
Graham McTavish as Tommy Holiday
Wood Harris as Tony "Little Duke" Burton
Andre Ward as Danny "Stuntman" Wheeler
Gabriel Rosado as Leo Sporino
Review by Mister Goodfella's Review
Ryan Coogler has done what no one thought possible anymore, re-inventing the "Rocky" franchise, as we know it. "Creed" in my opinion is not a sequel of the "Rocky" franchise but it is however a spinoff that can successfully stand on its own without its predecessors help. I'm really impressed with what Coogler has done here; he's taken a concept so simple such as a boxing drama and mastered it. I'm a huge fan of directors who take simple concepts and elevate them but I know that it truly does stem from the actual passion for the project at hand, in this case Cooler was in love. I don't think you can walk out of "Creed" thinking that was just a mediocre boxing film because you'll be kicking yourself in the head afterwards thinking hard on it.
Ryan's spinoff centers on Adonis Johnson played by Michael B. Jordan, as he journeys to create a name for himself in the boxing community and drive that he does not live in his father's shadow. Along the way Adonis meets Rocky Balboa (Stallone) in the hopes that he can train him to become more than just Apollo Creed's son. Other cast members include Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad and Tony Bellew who all compliment Jordan and Stallone's performances very well. Michael B. Jordan's chemistry with Stallone onscreen has to be one of the most believable relationships between acquaintances in a boxing film I’ve seen in a long time. You really feel as though these two actors’ are great friends so much so that the performances reflect that giving you a natural flow of chemistry and not a forced one.
Nothing-here performance wise is "Oscar Worthy", but the bar is still pretty high with Michael B. Jordan stealing the show. I've been a fan of Jordan since "Fruitvale Station", and by that performance alone I knew we had another great upcoming actor on our hands. It was also very refreshing to see Stallone returning to his boxing roots and not coming in guns blazing for once. Stallone gives a very natural performance of a man who's been through it all and is finally accepting the fact that he's older. This is the type of role that I think best fits Stallone at this point and not some drawn out mercenary guns blazing soldier in "The Expendables".
Aside from the stellar performances, "Creed" also has fantastic directing behind it thanks to Ryan. You can truly tell that Ryan has been around the block once already and wasn't going to let this project fall into the generic boxing type film. Ryan separates "Creed" from other boxing movies by the fighting sequences alone, ranging from one of the fights in a one continuous shot motion to almost feeling like you're watching a fight on "HBO" towards its last fight. Each director who's ever filmed a boxing movie brings something unique to the table and Ryan has proved here that he can do more "Creed" sequels. One of the last things that really made "Creed" great for me was the message it left me with, it wasn't about winning a fight or losing one but more of building your own legacy.
Sure "Creed" has its flaws but they are very minor in comparison to what this film is trying to be. I absolutely loved how simple this concept was and how brilliant it turned out to be. "Creed" is elevating boxing films to a new level in this day and age, one that I’m glad to be alive in.
Rating: 3.5 out of 4 Stars