Script: Aaron Covington, Ryan Coogler, Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Phylicia Rashad, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson
Setting: 2010s, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Rated : 10 Stars
I find myself unable to really blurb this film. I mean, yeah, the bare bones of it are an orphan kid tries to find himself through boxing. Gets mentored by his father best friend, Rocky, and because of his father’s famous name gets a shot at the title himself.
Only that isn’t really what Creed is about. That’s just the setting, the set-up, the background. Because, like all Rocky films, this isn’t a boxing film. It is a film about people, and life, and relationships. And sure, there is boxing, and training for boxing, and all that jazz, but that isn’t why I love the Rocky films. I’m guessing that isn’t why most people love the Rocky films. I love them because they have heart. And family.
And I’m sort of reminded of the feelings I get for the Fast and Furious films when I think about the Rocky films, even though they are totally different sorts of films. Some of the Rocky films are certainly better, objectively speaking [ref]if you can be objective about these things, which I’m not totally sure you can be[/ref] than anything that we’ve seen in The Fast and the Furious saga. But they both really revolve around characters building relationships with each other. They’re about building on the audience’s knowledge of, and emotions surrounding, other films. Creed taps into the whole history and heritage of Rocky, going all the way back to the seventies. And yet it does its own thing.
But it still has that tie to the past. So we don’t need to delve into Rocky himself, we know him, we’ve seen him as at least half a bum, we’ve been with him as he fell in love, married, lost that. Lost himself in riches, and then really found himself all over again in Rocky Balboa. And yes, we also saw him bring down the iron curtain when fighting in Soviet Russia, but you know what, those absurdities don’t actually take from what the Rocky films have become.
They are awesome. And I love them.
Which isn’t to say that this film is without flaws. Because I want to know what happened with Marie and her kid? I’m not saying they had to be together or anything, and time has passed in Rocky’s world, but a little mention would’ve been nice.
But then again, this isn’t Rocky’s film. It is Adonis Creed’s. And boy does he make it work. I thought that Jordan was great here. And I loved Bianca. She actually had a life outside being “the love interest”, and her own battles to fight.
And no, this film doesn’t pass the Bechdel test, but it still had some great female characters. I loved the way we got to see Mary Anne’s reactions. Even if we didn’t see her and Donnie talking, we could see how important she was in his life, as well as the other way around.
Ahh, this film is just plain great. I’m off to reread Sheila O’Mahony on how wonderful Rocky is.