Ryan Coogler is 2 – 0 for KO’s with his directorial debut Fruitvale Station and latest film Creed giving us a touching follow up to the Rocky Legacy.
After hearing who was going to be the lead and also who was directing, I decided to put this on my must see list. This movie is a follow up to the Rocky movies set in the same universe in present day. Son of Apollo Creed, Adonis Creed a.k.a Donny Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never knew his father because he died before he was born but always knew he was going to be a boxer. He decides its time for him to become the boxer he believes himself to be by finding a trainer to train him. Who better to do that then the legend Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). With Rocky being retired and leaving that world behind he is hesitant in training Donny but decides to mentor him since he sees so much of Apollo in him. Together they train for that title shot while also teaching each other a thing or two along the way.
Ryan Coogler really impressed me with his directing and writing on the tragic story of Oscar Grant III in Fruitvale Station which also starred Michael B. Jordan. The movie had me in tears ( yes I cried, so what) and he didn’t disappoint with this one. I gotta say that I enjoyed this movie from beginning to end. Michael stepped up his game in my opinion. I’ve always been a fan of him since I saw him in NBC’s Parenthood, followed by Chronicle as the likeable high school student with superpowers. By the way, if you haven’t seen Chronicle, check it out. Anyways, back to Creed. Michael has this likeness about him when he acts that just makes you root for him no matter what kind of guy he is. You just want him to succeed good or bad. He also looked like a great boxer to me. Watching him train/act in the movie I am sure he went through vigorous training for the role.
Let’s talk about Sylvester for a second. Now I mostly know him as an action star. He is seen doing more action roles then comedy or drama. I can’t remember the last time I saw him in a hard drama relying only on his acting and dialogue and I got to tell you he delivered big time in this. Embodying Rocky one more time, I felt he never got out of character since he last played him. This role fit like a glove for him. You never forget how to ride a bike right? There has been a lot of talk about his role in this movie and we could see him be nominated for a couple of statues. Watching him is reason enough to go.
It was filmed very well also. I want to refer to a specific scene which is his first big fight towards the second act of the film. Once the bell rings and Donny and Leo “The Lion” Sporino played by Gabe Rosado. The camera focuses only on the two boxers as they battle it out. As the camera rotates around them we get a feel and visual look at what its like to be in the ring. Even though there are hundreds surrounding them, they don’t see anything around them and focus on each other. With the audio you can hear everyone cheer and their respective teams yelling out commands to outwit the other. Only once did they pan out but that raw tension between the two fighters i think amped up the scene. I think compared to other boxing scenes the camera is always moving around putting the camera on random people watching the fight to their trainers and announcers to create tension. I just liked that we got to see a focused match without any distractions.
“Build your own legacy”
I’d say definitely check out this movie if you have been following the Rocky Balboa movies. The movie brings great nostalgic moments in the subtle references from past movies and even in the soundtrack. Great acting from both Michael and Sylvester. I also want to give a shout out to Tessa Thompson (Dear White People, Selma, When a stranger Calls) who played a strong woman character. Cast as the love interest to Donny she still held her own and didn’t play the side character most love interest are in movies. The film wrapped up quite nicely as well which is refreshing in my opinion which focused more than him just being a boxer but also being a great man as well as his own man outside of his late father’s shadow.
+1pt Entertaining, heartwarming, as well as exhilarating like you are actually watching a boxing match.
+1pt Well written movie. Script paid attention to fans who grew up with the films while being attention getting for this generation.
+1pt Acting was superb. Sylvester Stallone shined.
+1pt definitely recommend this movie. This movie stands on its own even if you haven’t seen the previous movies.
+1pt has replay value. I would watch this film again.
Total – 5pts out of 5pts Very entertaining.
New trailers attached to the movie:
Barbershop 3 The New Cut – Same ol’ same ol’ but i am sure it will bring new stuff to the table.
Central Intelligence – This looks funny. I like this trailer. Especially the end. It gave me a “Knight and Day” vibe to it.