Rocky is a big part of my life. I grew up with Sylvester Stallone’s creation. It has been a big part of who I am today. Determination, will, grit, and love are all themes that are explored in those films. All are enjoyable for the most part. Except Rocky V, yuck. The irony is that Creed looks to be the story of Rocky going from boxer to trainer, the same story Rocky V explored, to no avail.
The team behind Creed is very different. Ryan Coogler director of critical darling Fruitvale Station, helms this with his lead Michael B. Jordan. Jordan is on his way to becoming a superstar. Will Creed shoot him to the top of Hollywood?
Creed is in my top five films of this year. Michael B. Jordan delivers his best performance as Adonis Creed. There are scenes where you fell his heartbreak, his triumph, and his love for not only boxing, but Rocky. You are invested in this film because of Jordan’s performance. He is captivating, relatable, and just a likable character.
Sylvester Stallone is at his absolute acting pinnacle here. Best he’s been since the original Rocky. He breaks your heart, and hits you right in the gut with his performance. This character is one of the most inspirational figures in movie history. Seeing Stallone play this character is great. Oscar worthy performance. Stallone just knocked it out of the park. Brings that same Rocky charm that will make you laugh, and the “stuff in the basement” that will make you cry.
The scenes he shares with Jordan are electric. There is a father-son bond, and both actors portray that love for each other. That can’t be understated. The chemistry between the two is magical. Creed calls Rocky “Unc” and “Old Man” throughout this movie, and it’s very endearing, and Rocky takes to it right away.
The love interest of Adonis is Bianca (Tessa Thompson). I really thought she was phenomenal. The knock on Adrian in the Rocky films was that she was very much “Rocky’s wife”, not much else, that’s no knock on the performance of Talia Shire. She was Rocky’s motivation and his rock. Bianca has her own dreams of becoming a singer, and she is as passionate in achieving her dream as Adonis is, and that’s what brings them together, and they really build off that drive. Thompson and Jordan have great chemistry and you buy that romance.
Ryan Coogler’s direction is as much of a star in this film as the leads. There are multiple one take fight scenes that really blew me away. It was just insane, he made a boxing movie that is stylistically different than anyone we’ve seen before, yet keeps this Rocky spinoff true to its roots.
Creed maybe in my top five films this year. I was laughing crying and just going on this ride with Adonis and Rocky. Stallone is very much passing the torch to Jordan. Now let’s see if Creed has that staying power that Rocky did.