So the Academy Awards 2016 came and went and I realized I had not seen 90 per cent of the films that were nominated. I felt very ashamed.
But I started thinking “maybe there are other people who have not seen these films. Maybe they would like to read reviews on them”. So for my first Oscars 2016 recap I took a look at boxing drama Creed. And right off the bat I must say, it is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen.
Creed is the seventh film in the Rocky franchise and is both a sequel and a spin off. The protagonist is Adonis “Donnie” Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) the illegitimate son of boxing champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) who is the friendly rival of the hero of the Rocky franchise Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). In a plot similar to the original Rocky film Johnson is an unknown fighter who gets a one in a million shot against a champion boxer. But the story is a whole lot more than a rehash and this is no cash grab.
IN THIS CORNER
The acting in this film is fantastic. Jordan, who I thoroughly enjoyed in 2012 sci fi drama Chronicle, fully delivers and he brings the angry, driven but vulnerable character to life. We feel the struggle of a man seeking both to honour his father’s legacy and step out from beneath his shadow.
And Stallone? Goodness gracious. Is this the same guy from The Expendables? He is so good as the aging mentor Balboa that it is scary. And definitely deserving of his Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Jordan and Stallone have heartwarming chemistry which is important because their relationship is the core of the film. And speaking of chemistry Jordan and Tessa Thompson, who plays musician love interest Bianca, are electric together. We had the awkward romance between Rocky and Adrian in the first film but these two kids are on fire. Phylicia Rashad is also solid as Apollo Creed’s widow. The main cast all bring their A game.
LET’S GET IT ON
I remember someone describing Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 thriller Vertigo by saying no scene is wasted. And that is how I feel about Creed. Director Ryan Coogler trimmed all the fat and every scene pushes the story and the drama forward – no filler.
We get many, many nods to previous Rocky films but they flow well and never feel tacked on. The music is also a mix of modern rap and Rocky themes, getting you pumped for the big fights.
But Julien, what about the boxing? Hold your horses. I’m getting to it. It is really, really good. You feel every jab to the body and hook to the face. It sucks you in like a real sporting event. I was shadow boxing during the fight and jumping up and down at the end. It is that enthralling.
Creed is a masterpiece that lands every punch it throws. I unreservedly recommend this movie to fans of the franchise and fans of films in general.
Rating – Creed gets 4/4 one two punch combos.
So have you seen Creed? What did you think of it? What’s your favorite Rocky movie? Feel free to comment below.
For my review of The Revenant, the film that finally netted Leonardo DiCaprio an Oscar, you can click here and for my review of Room you can click here. And for more knockout movie reviews you can follow me on Twitter @suprememango012.
Got your back like a chiropractor. L8rs