Creed – Like Father, Like Son

By: Daniel Chadwick-Shubat

Boxing films are always the ultimate redemption stories. The movies that led the way for all other boxing movies was Rocky, Sylvester Stallone led movie that won Best Picture at the Oscars and is beloved by millions.

In Creed we probably have the best Rocky movie since the original with a fantastic duo performance by Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone.

Creed follows the life of Adonis Johnson, the illegitimate child of Apollo Creed, the famed boxer of the Rocky series who died in the ring. Apollo’s wife finds Adonis in a foster home a couple years later and raises him as her own, which establishes the first lesson of this movie, forgiveness.

Skip forward a few years and Adonis is now in a high level tech job, but unfulfilled. We see he still fights in Tijuana but he easily wins those games and is obviously looking for something more professional. This is when we get one of the most powerful scenes of the movie. Adonis gets home, puts on a tape of his father fighting Rocky. He gets up and fights in sync with Rocky. Son vs Father. Powerful stuff, Adonis still has some unresolved problems with his Dad.

The amazing thing about Creed is that it doesn’t derail from the formula that made the Rocky movies so great. But it added its own ingredients to pump a breath of fresh air into this franchise. The trinity responsible? Coogler, Jordan and Stallone.

Coogler, after his fantastic debut Fruitvale Station (also featuring Jordan) works wonders with his entire cast and creates an excitement that hasn’t really been in boxing movies since Rocky IV. The fights are gritty and realistic. One of them is even filmed in one shot, creating a realism that’s hard to get in these movies. He also paid homage to the man who made this franchise happen, scripting Stallone’s best role in years (Oscar nom?)

Stallone is full of wise words for the young Adonis and it seems to bring the best out of both actors as they have fantastic chemistry together. Jordan is the new face of the franchise and a lot of people will be glad with that. After the monstrosity that was Fantastic Four some people were worried about Jordan’s ability to settle into a franchise. After 5 mins of this movie you forget that completely and become enthralled with performance. The way he breaths as he boxes, the intense scenes of dialogue between him and his girlfriend (the surprising newcomer Tessa Thompson), and the sheer intensity as he trains. This is a man to watch out for.

What really amazed me about Creed was the heavyweight battle at the end. It was fought in Goodison Park, in Liverpool (where I was born) so it was fantastic seeing all the Liverpudlian landmarks. The atmosphere in the movie was electric because it was actually filmed at Goodison Park in front of 30,000 people. Everything from the fighter’s entrances to the chants caused goosebumps, a feeling not felt since Mad Max’s climactic end chase scene.

Creed really does live up to the hype. Even though all these years Rocky Balboa has been winning fans hearts, Adonis Creed most likely won his fair share as well.

Creed is a film that respects the classics that came before it and responds with nostalgic scenes and awesome fight montages. But it does well to become its own creation and that’s a big reason why it worked so well. Coogler breathes life into every frame, whether it’s a fight or conversation. With him at the helm, guiding Jordan and Stallone count me in.

Rating: 9/10

What did you think of Creed? Check out our podcast episode which looked at Creed and London Has Fallen. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

Follow me on Twitter @GetReelMovies

Leave a Reply