by Adam Riske
Creed was one of the five movies I was anticipating most in 2015 and I’m thrilled and relieved to report that it is very good. And not just good in a Furious 7 kind of way, where I’m watching the movie partly with beer goggles and choosing to ignore its flaws. Creed is better than that. It’s just an objectively wonderful movie in many aspects. I agree with everyone who says that this is the best movie in the Rocky series since the original. Creed is the one of the most crowd pleasing and re-watchable movies I’ve seen all year. I’ve seen it twice and can’t wait to watch it again. This movie plays.
The plot in brief: Former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) serves as trainer and mentor to Adonis (Michael B. Jordan), the son of his late and former rival Apollo Creed.
Fantastic Four, which is not his fault) with his charisma, likability, smarts and ability to hold the screen. We have to like Adonis and root for him just as much as we ever did Rocky Balboa (who we’ve followed over six movies) and immediately Michael B. Jordan won me over with his tenacity and good heart. He’s a worthy successor to Stallone in being the lead of this franchise. Also great is Tessa Thompson (Dear White People) as Bianca, the woman who becomes the Adrian to Adonis’ Rocky. Frankly, Bianca kicks Adrian’s ass by comparison. Thompson is so entertaining with her no-nonsense attitude, impressive singing chops and little touches like when she pushes Adonis out of excitement following his victory in an early fight. It’s a great little moment that good movies have and Creed has several. Others include an inspired twist on the training montage sequence that Coogler has up his sleeve, which makes perfect sense when you see it and another with Adonis running down the Philly streets with a motorcycle gang behind him popping wheelies in support. It’s a sequence that gives me the chills as it’s amplified by Ludwig Göransson’s phenomenal score.
I love reviewing movies like Creed. There’s nothing better than seeing a movie you were anticipating for a long time and it works. Even if you’re not a fan of the franchise or have never seen a Rocky movie, Creed would be a great place to start. It’s the type of movie I could recommend to anyone because I think it’s such a universal story of a likable underdog making good and the wise, old mentor who helps him get there. It’s a story about love and friendship just as much as being a kick ass film about fighting.
Here’s hoping that Creed is the first of many in a new franchise. You should rush out and see this movie. It’s one of my favorite movies of the year without question.