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Creed (2015) Review

creed2I was a bit cynical when this thing was announced.  It sounded a bit like a ‘Mutt’ movie, a reference to the horrible attempt to offload a new Indiana Jones on us in that poor fourth movie.  Surprisingly though it carries the Rocky saga inoffensively in a different direction, with the focus mostly being on Michael B. Jordan, playing a character that is easy to root for.

I can’t really recall if it was mentioned in the earlier movies that featured Carl Weathers, that Apollo had a son, but his mother gave birth to his son after Apollo was killed by Drago in the ring.  An event that left Mrs. Creed a broken woman, leaving the young Adonis fending for himself with his fists through juvenile detention.  He eventually reconciles with his mother to find out that he’s the son of a great boxer and is inspired to follow the career himself, to the anguish of his mother.  But Adonis soon finds himself rejected by trainers, they don’t want the son of a Apollo Creed, whose widow is a millionaire, trying boxing as a hobby.  ‘No dancing and singing’ as one puts it, a reference to the late Creed senior’s bombast.  And so Creed junior eventually finds his way to Rocky Balboa, three steps away from destitution.

I’m glad they went the route of following Creed’s son instead of the other facepalm road of having Rocky Jr. sit through pep talks from his daddy.  It’s a fresh perspective to see Apollo’s wife once again after all these years and although I haven’t seen Michael B. Jordan in a movie before, his performance is impressive.  Stallone pulls an unsurprisingly strong subtle power play as Balboa too, it’s hard not to be motivated by the old lug.

I have one or two issues with this movie.  The energy appears to be sapped out of it quite a bit in the second half, Rocky’s sickness angle wasn’t needed, it slows down the movie somewhat and could’ve been removed completely, the movie was beginning to run out of ideas and should not have ran to 125 minutes at the expense of this.  But the end fight, a nice blitzkrieg between Adonis and his opponent goes a good way at cancelling that out, you should leave satisfied.  But the second, bigger problem, is the opponent himself.  He is practically a cardboard cut out.  A nobody, just like the underwritten and uncharismatic Mason Dixon from the previous movie.  We’re a long way from Clubber Lang featuring heavily as the antagonist right at the opening credits. They need to fix this in the sequel. Another issue is that Creed junior seems somewhat pedestrian compared to his father.  A lot quieter, no extravagance.  I’m not sure whether I like that or not.

I breathed a sigh of relief when watching the fights in this movie and maybe that’s what was most important..  There is no shaking camera bullshit nor baffling editing choice – in one fight in particular there were no cuts at all.  Are we finally entering the post-shaking camera era?

7

  • Frenchie Pred the Imdb Legend

    6/10 Creed jr is tame compared to any other boxers
    Dixon was supposed to be a tame shit on purpose, but Creed jr isn’t.Miscast.

    • The Night Rider

      They really need to go all Rocky III for the sequel. Their number one priority should be casting a monster villain.

      • Frenchie Pred the Imdb Legend

        We need Mel.Again.

  • Tiger McDrew

    I agree that it needed a better villain. And I think the whole romance angle felt forced and didn’t add much. I didn’t mind that Rocky was sick and I thought Sly did some terrific acting in the scene where he got the diagnosis and right after. But my main issue was why kill Paulie? I understand why they killed Adrian in Rocky Balboa and the whole movie sort of stemmed from that, but I don’t see what Paulie being dead added and I actually think the movie would have benefited from having him on board.

    The boxing scenes were great though. I’ll agree with your 7/10. Not the best Rocky sequel by a long shot, but it’s probably the best boxing movie since Rocky Balboa and the best Stallone movie since Rambo.

  • Mucho Macho

    So after this great life lesson…& everything seemed to come full circle..
    I guess young Robert didn’t learn a fucking thing.
    Not even a fuckin call to his father?!
    Thats one of my many fucking problems with the” Rocky 7″ side of “Creed”.
    They pissed on the greatness of the previous 1 to give Stallone something to do ( even if he did a good job with it)
    https://youtu.be/D_Vg4uyYwEk

  • Mucho Macho

    Young Adonis was a product of an extramarital affair Apollo had b4 he was killed. His biological mom died & he was put in foster care. Apollo’s widow decided to take the boy in.
    i liked the first half of the movie better. I liked the fact that Duke’s son was in it. It would have been better to explore the relationship Adonis had with the half siblings you saw in “Rocky II”
    They didn’t need to fuck Rocky up to have him in the movie. Why couldn’t he just be happy?
    1) Him still spending his time in Adrians grave. The reason he got back in the ring in the last 1 was to help him deal with the loss. He was a fighter & all he knew in how to deal with strong emotions like that was to fight in the ring. In the end he is saying goodbye to Adrian. Here he is back spending his days talking to a damn grave again.
    2) Paulie’s death> Just mentioned casually. Like WTF?! This is fucking Paulie we are talking about!
    3) Roberts absence pretty much shits on the the journey father & son had in the last movie
    4) Not even a mention of Lil Marie, her son &Duke dont show up.
    The movie is “Creed” & there was more shit to explore. I dug all that. Truthfully..Rocky wasn’t needed. His story was perfectly ended in the last 1.

    Stallone did do a good job & it’s not a bad movie. I’m just sad it was at the expense of a movie i love “Rocky Balboa”.
    oh well.

    • Kincaid88

      I think Rocky Balboa helped him deal with the loss and move on, but that doesn’t mean he’s just gonna forget about Adrian and never see her. That scene was one of the lighter scenes for him emotionally, I thought

      • Mucho Macho

        I understand what you are saying. Its not about forgetting about Adrian all together but in “Creed” it made him seemed like he is back spending his days talking to a tombstone.
        I don’t think “Creed” is a bad movie. I actually would have prefer the whole movie to be really about Adonis and his family and Duke and his family (like we saw his son for a little bit and that whole dynamic in
        relationship.)
        let’s be honest the movie “Creed” is part rocky 7 & it was rehashing & recycling old material . I know I’ve been a little bit hard on the movie but that’s because I love “Rocky Balboa” so much and thought it was the perfect end to the saga.
        and I think they were way too casual about Paulie’s death.

  • Mucho Macho

    Tommy Gunn would have killed the villain of this movie

  • Boatman_90

    “Another issue is that Creed junior seems somewhat pedestrian compared to his father. A lot quieter, no extravagance. I’m not sure whether I like that or not.”

    Exactly Night, I was trying to think of a way to put it and you nailed it, no extravagance. I also dunno if I like it or not. I mean did he deserve to be more like apollo creed cos he wasn’t the real creed.

  • Good to hear but it’ll probably make them even more adament to shoot that crappy Rambo Tv show

  • Mainline DnB

    I cant speak for the way it was written, but the “A lot quieter” point you make is probably more about Michael B. Jordan than his character. He’s not a bad actor, but he’s also not particularly charismatic and i’ve sat through enough of his roles to know that he is very one-note and doesn’t naturally have the energy and / or spark to go to that place.

  • Kincaid88

    Totally agree that Conlon could’ve been way better. I found the love interest story particularly boring and obligatory. Would’ve liked if they spent that time developing Conlon instead. However, I disagree wholeheartedly with Rocky’s illness. It makes it clear that we will never see him in the ring again, and that allows the movie to make it more about Adonis’s story than his. Also, Rocky being sick forced Adonis to support Rocky just as much as Rocky supported Adonis. Makes their relationship much more rewarding and dynamic. Thought that Stallone’s performance elevated what was mostly a cheesy movie.

  • Barney Ross

    Creed is like Rocky 5, maybe a little better but seriously i don’t give a shit about Creed’s son, also no Paulie is a fucking insult!!!!! FUCK YOU STALLONEY

    I love the first 4 Rocky, fuck the rest.