I recently re-watched Creed in anticipation for Creed 2 coming out tomorrow. I was interested to see if my opinion on this film would have changed, as it’s been a while since I last saw it… I can confirm that it hasn’t. I still adore this film wholeheartedly, and personally, I think it’s the best that the Rocky franchise has to offer.
Creed follows the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, Adonis, played by the brilliant Michael B. Jordan. He never met his father, who died before he was born, (in Rocky IV) but he is adopted by Apollo’s wife. Despite living a glamorous life and having a well paid job, Adonis longs to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a sensation in the ring. His journey brings him to Rocky Balboa, (Sylvester Stallone) who eventually agrees to train Adonis.
Director Ryan Coogler delivers a beautifully crafted film, which stays loyal to the Rocky franchise and its roots while branching out in new, interesting directions that ultimately make this film feel fresh.
The cast are all fantastic, with Michael B. Jordan and Stallone stealing the show. There are so many layers to Adonis Creed and they’re all explored with immense care, sure, he’s a badass boxer and someone you wouldn’t want to mess with, but he’s also a fragile man with a lot of pent-up anger and frustration. Watching him struggle with the dilemma of creating his own path, or claiming and embracing the Creed name, is an interesting dynamic which makes the climax of the film even more poignant. Stallone is unsurprisingly brilliant as Rocky, and he fully deserved his Oscar nomination from this film. Tony Bellew was also very good in his role as the main “villain”, considering he isn’t an actor by trade.
The fight sequences are shot to near perfection, there is one fight in the 2nd act of the film that looks like it’s all been done in one continuous shot, and it’s breathtaking. In every fight the film presents, everything feels so raw, so real. You can almost feel every punch, you feel like you’re in the ring with Adonis. You wince and cringe when a brutal hit lands, despite the fact you know you’re watching a work of fiction, it’s all so believable. It’s Rocky for the modern age and it is a transition that works like bread and butter.
The most important thing with Creed is that is is great fun from start to finish, it’s an experience and one that I still remember being wow’ed by in the cinema. The elaborate entrances, the training montages that make you want to get up and work out yourself, the brutal fights that have the perfect amount of Rocky cliches without feeling stupid… They nailed almost everything and I genuinely can’t think of any real negatives. Creed is a fantastic film, I can’t wait for the sequel, and if you’ve never seen it before, then go and watch it, right now.
I give Creed a 9/10.