Creed (2015)

2:28 PM

Your Legacy is More than A Name
 Creed is directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) and stars Michael B. Jordan (Fantastic Four, Fruitvale Station), Sylvester Stallone (Rocky, The Expendables) and Tessa Thompson (Dear White People, Selma). "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". Creed is the next film to revive a franchise based on nostalgia which was a very big theme in 2015 - will it be successful or will it be knocked out?


Creed is a good movie but I do feel a little underwhelmed - the first trailer was so good and had a big effect on me when I first saw it when it was released - I hadn't really followed Creed until that trailer dropped which then made me very excited. Then the film got tremendous reviews and awards buzz - especially surrounding Stallone's performance - I was expecting really big things. I suppose it was my fault for letting my expectations get so high but Creed was just a good movie - not excellent but not terrible. The thing with this film is that I can't really point out anything I had problems with - it just didn't live up to the hype and wasn't as powerful as it could have been. 

The performances in the film were all to a very good standard. Michael B. Jordan needed to redeem himself after Fantastic Four and I think he successfully did here. I don't really like Jordan as a person - he comes across quite cold in interviews but I think he played the role very well here and being from the UK, in that end fight, I was routing for team USA over team UK - that must say something about his performance right? Now, Sylvester Stallone - I have heard so many great things about his performance in this movie. However, I just thought it was good at best. It wasn't ground breaking and I didn't watch it thinking 'Oscar' - it was just good. In contrast, when I watched Whiplash, I thought J.K Simmons thoroughly deserved all of his praise but when you compare him to Stallone, Simmons knocks Stallone out. As someone who hasn't watched all of the Rocky films, I can't comment on how Stallone is now compared to back then but I hear he is better. However, I must admit - recently, Stallone just does paycheque films so it is nice to see him in a role where he can do some serious acting. Tessa Thompson is kind of an unknown to me - I hadn't seen her in anything until how. However, I thought she was really good. What I liked about her character is that she is successful in her own right - she isn't just Jordan's love interest, she is an up and coming music artist who is doing quite well. 

I thought the realism in Creed was very good - the fights were probably the best fights I have seen in film. Now, I only really have Southpaw to compare it to but I think Creed's fights felt a little more genuine than Southpaws - even though that film had some good fights too. I thought it would have actually been interesting if the end fight was as long as a real fight - that would have been something that we have not seen before. The ending was also good as it wasn't cliche - I won't spoil it but I think the ending is still satisfying without being a cliche which is good. 

The story for Creed was quite good but it was just a typical boxing story - I didn't feel that it had much heart. I thought (Even though it was a lot more cliche) Southpaw had a better story as it made you route for the character as he was fighting for more than just the sake of fighting whereas Creed's story was basically fighting for the sake of fighting and a little theme of legacy. The story however was never dull so it was good but it was just a little generic. Despite the actual story not having much heart, there were a few scenes that do pull at the heart-strings - the romance between Jordan and Thompson is believable and works quite well. I also think the direction the character of Rocky goes in is an interesting and risky choice but works well. SPOILER - that moment where Rocky is too sick to go train with Adonis (Jordan) so Adonis gets all of the bikers and runs with them to Rocky's house - I thought this was very moving and probably one of my favourite moments in the film. 

In comparison to Southpaw, I think Creed is almost on the same ground as it. Where Southpaw lacks a clear story, Creed has a clear story. Where Southpaw has heart, Creed lacks heart. Both have great performances and a great use of music and both also generally feel very real which I think is important with a sports film.

Creed is a slightly underwhelming film after all the hype but that doesn't stop it from being good. Even though Jordan isn't likeable in real life, he comes across really well here and leads the film exceptionally well. Stallone's performance may not quite be Oscar worthy but it is still strong, as is Thompsons. The story for Creed does lack heart but is a clear narrative that generally avoids cliches. Creed does lack that punch for it to be classed as 'outstanding' but it is still a solidly strong film. 

3.5 STARS
B+

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