Creed Film Review

Film Review by Jarred Tito

The Premise
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.

The Review
29 year old Ryan Coogler has written and directed a gem by way of 'Creed', the seventh installment of the Rocky series. After much anticipation and Hollywood hype, the rumor mill has been busy 'talking up', and equally, 'slamming' this movie way before it ever went into production in the same way you would expect a major boxing match to be talked up. Where could Sylvester Stallone, the creator and principal writer as well as star, of the previous Rocky installments possibly take such a well known franchise? Could we the public really take him seriously back in the ring again? Well perhaps not as a fighter but certainly as a trainer which is exactly what happens in 'Creed', a movie that both true, hardened Rocky fans and newcomers alike will greatly appreciate.
The very young and talented Ryan Coogler, who was given a golden opportunity by Stallone, has written and directed one of the most memorable sporting / dramatic movies that you will hope to see this year - if not the decade. Coogler, a huge fan of the Rocky movies, has very skillfully crafted a new story line which includes original themes from the first Academy award winning Rocky movie, and brand new story lines which are completely in sync and hip to today's younger audiences.  You could say that the old has been perfectly blended with the new both on and off the screen. Imagine a young, unknown Stallone daring to pitch a fighting story to a major studio - and then imagine Coogler, a young unknown daring to pitch to Stallone. To Stallone's credit he took a risk and like the first Rocky movie, this too has paid off.
Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan from The Wire; Series One ... and not the son of famous basketball player Michael Jordan), AKA Adonis 'Creed', the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, Rocky's fighting nemesis in Rocky 1 and 2, travels to Philadelphia to ask for training from Rocky Balboa, the near retired restaurateur and fully retired boxer. This sets the scene for a strikingly good piece of drama and action as Adonis convinces Rocky to assist him as he attempts to climb out from under his famous father's shadow.
There are some brilliant pieces of acting throughout the film which, to my delight, include some very talented actors that you may or may not recognize from the classic TV series 'The Wire'. For anyone that appreciates the drama of 'The Wire' I am positive that you will equally appreciate some of that quality finding its way into 'Creed'. Equal to the task were the bouts and fighting sequences. At points I could almost feel the punches, The training sequences and fights are fast, hard and so realistic that at times I felt like I was watching a real fight. With the shoulder cams and 'point of view' shots, you are taken right into the ring.

The Verdict
There were no weak points in the movie which snapped me out of the story and back into my theatre seat. I was caught up in the story from the beginning until the end. The acting quality and dramatic scenes are carefully constructed and executed with precision. It was great to see Stallone acting at his best and also see Jordan being crowned as the new working man's champ.
As a fan of the Rocky series I completely loved this picture and although it is the ​seventh installment of the Rocky movies which now spans over four decades, 'Creed' is the perfect follow up chapter as well as a great stand-alone movie. Although Rocky himself is not the main character, he is still absolutely pivotal to the plot.
A brilliant movie that you will love.  

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 26th November 2015
Rating: M – Contains violence and offensive language
Duration: 133 minutes 
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson
Director: Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station)

The Extras
This is the first film in the "Rocky" series that is not written by Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa).

Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa) requested that Michael B. Jordan (Adonis Creed) wear the famous American flag trunks that Apollo Creed wore in Rocky (1976) and Rocky wore in Rocky III (1982) and Rocky IV (1985) to keep tradition in the "Rocky" universe.

In the filming of this movie Sylvester Stallone had to break up a fight between two other boxers.

At the time of this film's release, Sylvester Stallone was the same age as Burgess Meredith was at the time Rocky was released (69).

Flashbacks of Apollo Creed will be shown in this film.