“Creed” is an homage to the somewhat-inconsistent Rocky franchise’s glory days. It joins together a meticulous tight and sturdy concept with break-resistant Gorilla Glue.
The legendary character is not in the focus of this outing, but Sylvester Stallone reprises his career-defining role in the seventh of the series with nuance and nostalgia in high proportions. This is a blessing, since he’s been known to be lazy on the job. Here, he shows as much enthusiasm as a 69-year-old macho man action star will give.
Up-and-coming writer/director Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan team up again after the masterfully crafted “Fruitvale Station” in 2013. The duo again strikes a high note. This time it’s a blockbuster. What a hit this is likely to become – a box office blockbuster TKO. A blockbuster so good that it could it result it a reopening of Blockbuster stores to spread the awareness.
The reason the film works so well is that it has an independent flair that is sensational. It’s a blockbuster that isn’t a marketing cash-grab. It knows the audience’s expectations and meets them. Imagine reading elaborately well-written fan fiction of Apollo Creed’s character for this generation. It’s a knockout.
“Creed” begins with the title character (Jordan) getting taken out of a community home by his distant biological mother due to his violent behavior toward the other kids. He is told that he was born with the rage of his father. He goes to Mexico, where he finds that boxing is his passion. But he doesn’t want to be known simply as the late, great Apollo Creed’s son. To prevent this, he takes for his showbiz-arena name his mother’s maiden name, Johnson.
Johnson goes to meet the Italian Stallion at his restaurant, and they discuss the possibility of Rocky coaching him. They get into detail about the Creed legacy, and eventually Johnson hits the old man’s final emotional trigger and persuades him to exchange training tips with him. He also communicates with his mysterious neighbor, Bianca (Tessa Thompson), who is, ironically, a deaf hipster musician.
Thanks to it’s successful box-office gross, “Creed” is 2015’s truest million-dollar baby. It is filled with dramatic situations and relatable characters who we can actually connect to real life outside of the boxing ring.
The cinematography and camera work works well with all of the angles within the ring, making for more intimate and thrilling fights.
This is a movie that shouldn’t be typecast as only a sports movie. The angles of entertainment are just as sharp as those of the camera.
Nobody’s going to wreck Creed’s mojo. Not even all-star cage fighters could destroy the bond the “Gorilla Glue” is clenching tight.
Sean Koessler is a freshman at St. Francis High School.