Balboa’s spin-off wins with a flawless KO!
Thanks to Roadshow Films we had the chance to see Ryan Coogler’s Creed before its national release. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!
The film follows Adonis (Michael B Jordan) a foster child who from an early age got into trouble that landed him in junior detention centres. Adonis’s fate changes when the widow of “The Master of Disaster”, boxing legend Apollo Creed, visits him while he is detained. She unveils the truth about his being the result of an affair between Apollo and his mother, though the champion died before discovering that he was set to be a dad.
Despite not being her mother, Creed‘s widow decides to take Adonis in as her own child. Years pass and the former troubled kid becomes a man with a corporate job but he also possesses an intense passion for boxing like his father. He decides to leave his current life behind – even his surname – and moves to Philadelphia, home of the Italian Stallion, former heavyweight champion, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). After finding out who Adonis is, Balboa decides to return to the boxing world as his mentor. It proves to be a journey full of complications, and perseverance that will lead Creed’s son to become face to face with the current world champion, a similar situation to Rocky’s experience with Apollo in their first match.
In a dark time for the film industry, where unnecessary remakes and an abuse of 3D technology are in mass production, it’s unsurprising that a spinoff of a beloved and iconic saga like Rocky would raise alarms upon its announcement. Moreover, the fact that the film stars “the son of” made this writer panic, as it’s been largely proven that when this formula is repeated, the results are forgettable.
Nevertheless, Rocky fans will be glad to hear that “Creed” knocks out every single concern, with a clever and powerful story, full of Rocky nostalgia (including some trivia for the hardcore fans) and an impressive mix of drama and testosterone, all under the direction of Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station).
Coogler again teams up with Michael B Jordan and puts a huge weight on his shoulders as the lead character, a role that Jordan absolutely embraces and which is sure to make Carl Weathers (Rocky’s Apollo Creed) proud. This performance has come at an opportune time for the young actor, after his role in Josh Trank‘s disastrous Fantastic Four.
Sly Stallone, on the other hand, is superb; and for many viewers, the mere fact that he’s reprising his most iconic role at the age of 69 – almost 40 years after the release of the award-winning Rocky (1976) – is more than enough reason to be excited. Furthermore, Stallone takes it to the next level with this performance, with its relatable life experiences, and a vulnerability he brings to the character that we’ve never seen before. All in all, this will surely make Sly a contender for every supporting role award out there.
The intensity and narrative quality of the film, and the solid performance of the two leads, builds up so well that viewers are likely to forget about the “spin-off” concept, as this will hopefully be the beginning of a new franchise. Moreover, the film doesn’t take any wrong turns by focusing on secondary roles or developing unnecessary sub-plots.
Creed will move even the toughest viewers, especially when some bits and pieces of Bill Conti’s iconic score are heard during some key moments…A must see!
Creed is now showing across Australia