When is a sequel not a sequel? When it’s a spin off. Who would have thought that after 6 movies dating back almost 40 years that we would see another movie in the “Rocky” series? However, that is exactly what we have today. November 25 in the form of “Creed.”
All “Rocky” fans know Apollo Creed. In this new outing Michael B. Jordan plays Adonis Johnson, the illegitimate child of Apollo, who was taken in by the Creed family after his mother died. Though growing up in privileged lifestyle, Adonis can’t ignore the call of the boxing ring. He decides to give that a shot and moves from Los Angeles to Philadelphia to seek out the help of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to train him.
The obvious question everyone will want to know is how does “Creed” stack up to the other “Rocky” movies. The short answer is that it’s better than parts IV, V and VI, but not as good as parts I-III. This movie is a different story than the ones that all starred Stallone. Adonis has a large chip on his shoulder. He’s a man who is trying to make his own name and not be, “the son of Apollo Creed.” Jordon plays the part really well (it wasn’t his fault “Fantastic Four” stunk so bad).
“Creed” is the brainchild of writer/director Ryan Coogler. He turned a lot of heads a couple of years ago with his award winning film, “Fruitvale Station.” He took a big chance taking on this project. Will it live up to expectations of all “Rocky” fans? No, you can’t please everybody. However, Coogler has crafted a solid story and proves he is a filmmaker who should enjoy a long and prosperous career.
Sylvester Stallone has often been the target of parodies, especially regarding his Rocky character. He delivers his very best performance of Rocky since the original one. Because of the way he is perceived, it’s doubtful he’ll be part of any Oscar or other awards discussions. Nevertheless, given what he put up on the screen in this movie, he should be.
One of the reasons why “Creed” finds itself fourth among the now seven Rocky movies is that it continuously stops and goes. The story is moving along fine and then it stops dead in its tracks while we wait for it to get going again. The fights are not as exciting as they could be, though one fight is shot as one long shot which was pretty interesting way to go. Coogler sometimes over indulges too. Everyone is well versed in the training montages that takes place in these movies. This story features three separate training montages. By the time the third one begins you instantly think to yourself, “Another one?!” Obviously the last one is when Adonis is getting ready for the final fight in the movie, a part where the audience should really be into the story as they were in the other “Rocky” movies. However, in this case the sequence has worn out its welcome. The music score is not as strong either.
If you are a fan of the “Rocky” movies, then “Creed” should be a must see for you. This is the best movie of the series to come out in over 30 years. The movie features some light hearted moments and laughs and tells a strong story. We may not be cheering on Rocky Balboa again, but you will root on Adonis Johnson Creed. It is rated PG-13 for violence, language and some sensuality