The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.
Creed had been on my list for a while, and a combo of it being available to stream and recently watching Black Panther, also directed by Ryan Coogler, I decided to finally press play. I’m not writing this review in a timely manner so it’ll be lacking in specifics, rather, focusing on general feelings still present a few weeks after watching.
My resounding opinion was “Wow.” The Rocky films kinda all blend together in my memory and it’s hard to distinguish one from the other. I’m confident I’ve seen at least the first three, Rocky Balboa I’m sure has not crossed my screen, and the others I have no clue. So while I know the backstory and history of Rocky Balboa the boxer, and his relationship with Apollo Creed, I’d be hard pressed to provide any specifics. To me, coming away from Creed I have the feeling this will slot in nicely with those films that have come before it - terrific film while watching it, delivery a powerful punch (no pun intended), but alas will be relegated to a poor memory that will forget some of its potential.
I still had a “Wow” opinion because it is great for many reasons. There are many nods to the original series, Rocky in particular, and Sylvester Stallone even comes back to reprise his titular role as an adviser to the young Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan). Much like Rocky, Creed is so much more than a boxing film. The films are about the lives of their central characters, and how they fight their way up from the bottom. Creed continues that pattern and Michael B. Jordan is again outstanding really delivering a mix of traits from kind and likeable, to being cocky and non-underdog-like. Stallone, I’ll have to admit, also delivers quite a phenomenal performance. I remember shaking my head when he not only received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, but was the presumed frontrunner (he ended up losing to Mark Rylance, one of my Most Deserving picks for that award). I hedged in those predictions saying I hadn’t seen Stallone’s performance, yadda yadda yadda. Well I stand corrected. It still baffles me why Stallone was ever the frontrunner, but he 100% deserved the nomination.
A few weeks out, Creed has still stuck with me a bit, but like I said, I already feel it slipping from memory and combining with the other films in the Rocky franchise. Granted, I think this has given a shot of life into the series — it is quite baffling how they ever made six (six!) Rocky films. Creed feels like it could have a few in the tank, but hopefully they call it quits and leave on on a high note before it gets in to Rocky V territory.
4 out of 5