Creed Review

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     This film shouldn’t have worked. Seriously. The odds were not stacked in its favor; that’s what makes it the ideal Rocky franchise movie. When I first heard of the movie my initial response was, “Ah, shit. They’re doing Rocky V again!” So no, I wasn’t sold on the movie as a whole. Concept? Yes, I was on board but with reservations. So, to say that I was surprised by the movie would be a gross understatement.
     Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) just wants to make a name for himself as a boxer, but it’s hard to escape the shadow of his legendary father, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). Adonis sets out to Philadelphia to meet with the man who famously fought him, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), and ask him to train him for a bout that could give him the recognition that he has been fighting for.
     The Rocky series has had its ups and downs over the decades. As difficult as it is to end a franchise properly, 2006’s Rocky Balboa was the perfect way to end his story. I honestly thought there was nothing else to say, and nowhere else to go with the character. Creed just proves that what the hell do I know? The main over arching theme of the series has been to go the distance; if there was ever an underdog installment it was this one. This is the seventh film in a franchise that has been written off, and it somehow miraculously managed to craft it’s own identity.
      Enough about my astonishment that this movie exists and is actually good. Jordan displays this quiet subtlety that while miles away from his on-screen father, plays into the characteristics that made Rocky so relatable. You understand his situation, you relate to his need to be his own man. Quiet subtlety is hard as fuck to pull off, and Jordan pulls it off.
     I have to go into Stallone’s performance. This is the first time he’s played his character in a film that wasn’t written by him, but damn it, he actually gives an Oscar worthy performance. Rocky is an old man in this story; life is now taking things away from him. The man’s performance made me cry. I wouldn’t dream of going into spoilers, but know that you will cry, fan of the series or not. I wasn’t watching Stallone going back to well, up there in screen. I was seeing Rocky Balboa at a later stage in his life.
     Director Ryan Coogler has crafted something familiar, and yet entire unique. He manages to throw in stats of the fighters that Adonis may fight so you know he might not have a chance in hell of winning. The movie doesn’t even go into the cliché of his being a fish out of water (Adonis was raised in LA). Everything seems so familiar, yet completely fresh and new all at once. After the movie, I’ve of my best friends said, “This is how you reboot a franchise”. I couldn’t have agreed more.
    

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