Film Review: Creed
Director and co-writer Ryan Coogler’s Creed is a fantastic boxing film which sparks new life into the Rocky franchise.
Adonis Johnson is the son of late boxing champion Apollo Creed. He seeks out his father’s friend and fellow former champion Rocky Balboa to train him. In retirement, Rocky is reluctant to train the young boxer at first, but Adonis perseveres…
A continuation of the Rocky saga, Creed focuses on a new face; the illegitimate son of late boxing legend Apollo Creed. The story concentrates on Don’s rise from self-trained amateur to professional boxer. Director and co-writer Ryan Coogler follows on from the success of his debut Fruitvale Station with an uplifting and entertaining boxing movie.
Creed works well as both a continuation of the Rocky story and a film in its own right. The film’s protagonist is a new face, with his own story to tell. Nevertheless, there is sufficient linkage to the Rocky franchise, as well as the significant inclusion of Rocky Balboa. Creed concentrates on the story of a burgeoning fighter, yet his relationship with Balboa and Balboa’s own narrative are crucial factors.
Creed is not so much a rags to riches tale as may be expected. Emphasis, instead, is placed upon acceptance. Adonis must fight in more than one way to have his career and right to box accepted. The relationship between Adonis and Rocky is crucial in building the protagonist’s background. The progressing relationship is depicted in a engaging and believable fashion, much like the other relationships in the film.
Fight sequences in the film are produced with exactly right of tension required. Coogler does a fantastic job of building tension to the fights. These are used sparingly, as are references to the previous Rocky films. This restricted use, of the famous theme for example, has a greater overall effect.
Michael B. Jordan delivers a solid performance as the title character. He is believable in his drive, and in his relationship with Balboa and Tessa Thompson’s Bianca. Sylvester Stallone reprises his most famous role with aplomb; the actor very much deserves the acclaim he is receiving.
Creed is a film that packs a punch. Most will find Coogler’s film very satisfying.