Creed

"Extraordinary"

Creed Review


While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps the best in the series as it tells a standalone story with energy and skill. Reteaming writer-director Ryan Coogler with actor Michael B. Jordan after their underrated gem Fruitvale Station, this pulsing drama is also one of the best boxing movies in recent memory, harking back to classics in the genre while reinventing them with textured storytelling and raw performances.

Jordan plays Adonis, who never met his father, the iconic boxer Apollo Creed. He also refuses to take his surname, even after being adopted by Apollo's widow (Phylicia Rashad) and raised in a Los Angeles mansion with a great education. But he also can't resist the temptation to box, starting out in backroom Tijuana brawls. Finally he realises that something's got to give, so he heads to Philadelphia to explore his roots, meeting his father's former friend and rival Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) and asking him to teach him a few tricks to help further his career. But Rocky is battling his own issues, so these two mismatched men push each other forward. Adonis finds romance with the feisty Bianca (Thompson), and Rocky decides to help Adonis train to face the tough British champ (Tony Bellew).

The essence of this story is that we have to make peace with the past to move on to the future. This is woven into the script beautifully, without ever preaching, as Coogler encourages the audience to constantly see what's happening beneath the surface. This requires the actors to deliver unusually complex performances, and Jordan is wonderfully conflicted as a man whose inner nice guy is warring against his own history. Stallone, meanwhile, delivers one of his best performances ever as the sardonic, battered champion. He's relaxed and open, reminding us why we fell in love with Rocky to begin with.

When Adonis finally claims his father's name, the film delivers a powerful emotional punch of its own. This is a remarkable depiction of a young man learning who he is, becoming his own man. And Coogler fills the movie with witty references to previous Rocky movies, while directing the boxing sequences with real skill (the first big match is shot in a stunning single take). Of course, the fights are so brutal that we begin to wonder how boxing is still a legitimate sport. And the plot has the standard movie-style trajectory. But it's also a rare personal drama about how the most important things in life are not what we tend to spend our time and effort chasing.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Creed here:



Creed

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 133 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 25th November 2015

Box Office Worldwide: $65M

Budget: $35M

Production compaines: New Line Cinema, Chartoff-Winkler Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

IMDB: 8.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , , William Chartoff, David Winkler, Kevin King Templeton

Starring: as Adonis Creed, as Rocky Balboa, as Tommy Holiday, as Bianca, as Mary Anne Creed, Hans Marrero as Flores, Will Blagrove as James, Tony Bellew as 'Pretty' Ricky Conlan, as Pete Sporino, Jacob 'Stitch' Duran as Stitch, Malik Bazille as Amir, as Tony 'Little Duke' Burton, Gabe Rosado as Leo 'The Lion' Sporino

Contactmusic


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