Movie Review: Creed (2015)
A Film Both New and Familiar to All Rocky Fans.
What is Creed?
Those looking for a continuation of the game-changing 1976 drama Rocky, look no further. Creed, coming nearly forty years after the release of its brother Rocky, which was considered one of the greatest movies of the decade, delivers the suspenseful and motivational experience delivered in its counterpart that many have waited patiently for. Creed is a spin-off to Rocky, in which both share similar characters and plot. In both movies, two young boys with the will to fight slowly rise to the top, overcoming obstacles that required motivation and hardships. The actors chosen for Creed were selected carefully so that each actor held a personal significance. Starring in both movies, Sylvester Stallone, portraying Rocky Balboa, remains a vital part of these movies and on top of this, he flawlessly continued perhaps the greatest movie series of all time. Portraying Adonis Creed, the main character, Michael B. Jordan does a tremendous job bringing back the experience of Rocky. Creed, though considered a continuation of the Rocky series, may as well be its own franchise as its screenplay and plot is perfectly implemented.
Adonis Creed, an orphaned boy alternating between juvenile jail and foster homes, discovers himself and his passion when he finds out from his foster mother that his father was related to a world-renowned boxer. He leaves behind his life of normalcy and ventures out to follow his true passion of fighting. Needing a trainer, he seeks out Rocky Balboa, a former world-renowned champion who was familiar with his father, Apollo Creed. At first, Rocky is hesitant to train Adonis, but after proving his will power and proclaiming his relation to his father, Rocky agrees to train Adonis. Seeking to inherit his legacy on his own merit, Adonis and Rocky keep his relation to Apollo a secret. After his first fight against a well trained son of a boxer, the public is made aware of this relation, drawing global attention, particularly from the best heavyweight champion in the world Ricky Conlan. Adonis agrees to a fight with Conlan despite his lack of experience in the sport. During training, Rocky falls ill and is hospitalized, where he is discovered to have lymphoma. Despite growing close to Adonis, Rocky tries to keep his diagnosis from him, but Adonis eventually ends up finding out. Rocky explains his reluctance to undergo treatment to Adonis, who is in total disagreement. After coming back to each other, Rocky and Adonis strike a deal that if Adonis fights Conlan, then Rocky will fight his cancer. Team Creed flies to England for the controversial fight, where Adonis is handed-down his father’s old boxing uniform. The fight itself has its ups and downs, but in the end Adonis ends up losing, though he gains notoriety as a viable opponent. In the end, Rocky upholds his promise to fight his cancer and is seen training on the famous steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. To conclude, both Adonis and Rocky say that they have a great future ahead of them, signaling the possibility of a sequel.
Again, this movie shares many of the aspects with its predecessor Rocky, though the cinematic experience is completely different. Being that the original Rocky was released in 1976, the cinematic experience reflects an older era that any modern audience would be unfamiliar with. Creed, being released in 2015, offers a big upgrade from the older cinematic experience that makes the cinema relatable to a more modern audience. Newer cars, modern brands, and a changed society are few of the many changes in the cinematic experience from the predecessor. Almost all other aspects were similar, but one that particularly stood out was the setting. How Philadelphia was portrayed in Creed brought back the memories of the original Rocky, where locations like Mick’s gym reintroduced Mick’s character, or the steps in front of the art museum brought back perhaps the most popular scene from Rocky. The modern experience of the movie really stands out, making this successor perhaps even better than the original movie. It brought back the 1976 Rocky experience, all while modernizing the setting, which is perhaps the most attractive attribute of the screenplay.
The film takes place in the inner-city of Philadelphia, a landmark city for the series. Though Adonis grew up with a relatively wealthy family, his movement to Philadelphia marked a transition in his life. Throughout the story, he lives in two small apartments, one being Rocky’s apartment. Disregarding his family’s wealth, he makes his own come-up and builds his own legacy in a city stricken with poverty. Sound in this film stands out, especially in the chosen soundtracks. Being in Philadelphia, the film utilizes native artists, like Meek Mill, and mixes of the original Rocky soundtrack to give the film more authenticity. Famous landmarks, like the Rocky statue or the Philadelphia Art Museum aim to do the same as the music, giving the movie an authentic feel. Overall, the screenwriter really took into account little details to make the film as familiar and genuine as possible.
From its accurate and genuine portrayal to its actors, Creed is a film worthy of being recommended to all. The director, Ryan Coogler, flawlessly recreates a familiar experience of the beloved Rocky movie, all while modernizing the plot. It is amazing how carefully the actors were chosen, where each actor holds a personal connection, whether that be Sylvester Stallone playing his old character, or Michael B. Jordan being a sports star. Those who enjoyed the original Rocky will not be disappointed with Creed’s plot. The movie mirrors the same experience and plot of the original Rocky. Creed, similar to Rocky in many aspects, delivers a much smoother and relatable experience for a younger generation of audiences. Rocky fans are guaranteed to enjoy this movie.