Cert: 12A Runtime: 133 mins Director: Ryan Coogler Cast: Michael B.Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Tony Bellew and Graham McTavish
Time takes everybody out; time’s undefeated
The Rocky Balboa franchise has long been in the memory for me. Growing up Rocky was a film you had to witness as a child, for me Rocky IV is the best personally. The fact that the Balboa story is to be resurrected with the tale of the son of Apollo Creed, you had to answer that call and accept. These films are very uplifting and they do encourage people. The fact that Stallone has been nominated and winning supporting actor awards has baffled me. It was time to find out what the whole shabang was about. So what is Creed? After a lifetime of pugilism, two-time world heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is now retired and living in Philadelphia. But life throws another curveball at Rocky with the appearance of Adonis Johnson Creed (Michael B. Jordan), troubled son of his late rival-turned-friend Apollo Creed. Adonis never knew his father, who died in the ring, but is determined to follow in his footsteps. Rocky reluctantly agrees to become his trainer, even as he takes on an opponent more merciless than any he faced in the ring.
‘Creed’ has demonstrated the importance of allowing others the chance to inject new and innovating ideas into a much loved character. The very impressive Ryan Cooglar is the young Director given the important role of reinvigorating a franchise that had been on life support. He has been wise enough to continue with a simple formulaic story knowing that there is only so much a film like this can achieve. He fits a solid narrative perfectly in its boundaries but with enough room for the story too find an emotion edge and performances from talent that is well above par. Aaron Covington’s screenplay provides well balanced dialogue superbly performed by the characters that matter.Don’t go into Creed expecting to see Rocky, because you won’t. This is a new vehicle. Its story has flaws, and that’s understandable, but there was something else that bothered me about this movie. It needed more heart. Maybe a training montage, or an inspirational quote, or even a visit to father would’ve sufficed.
Instead, I saw a lot flash and excess. And that’s fine, I guess I just expected more of a ‘champion’ picture.Michael B.Jordan’s performance is hard to dislike. Jordan’s chemistry with Stallone was always going to make or break the outcome of this film but both actors look comfortable moving around each other. This is Stallone’s best performance of his career and just might the tough guy win an academy award for his hard work.With a script that demanded a quality showing, Sly gives his heart and soul to a performance that oozed character and filled the cinema with emotion. Tessa Thompson plays Adonis Johnson’s love interest, Bianca, and her presence doesn’t get in the way of the solid story. Bianca provides a calm voice of reason to a youthful boxer that is boiling under the surface. With a beautifully shot background of modern day Philadelphia, ‘Creed’ gives the chance for a new generation to experience the iconic Rocky legend.