the first six Rocky films last year I stated I would return to this franchise again covering the then-unreleased seventh film in the franchise, 2015’s Creed (trailer). I just finished a second viewing of the film on BluRay, so it is now time to see if this contemporary take on the classic line of boxing films lives up to the brand’s pedigree.
In case you missed the premise behind Creed, it takes place in the present several years after Rocky Balboa. Even though that film ended on a high note Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) is back to being lonely and down in the dumps. His son moved out to Vancouver, his best friend and brother-in-law Paulie has passed away and his newfound friends from the previous film, Marie and her son Steps are nowhere to be seen with no explanation for their absence in this film which I found beyond baffling.
The focus though is not on Rocky who we do not even see until about 20 minutes into the film. Instead this film is centered on the illegitimate son of Rocky’s former rival/friend, Apollo Creed who goes by Adonis/Donnie Johnson (Michael B. Jordan). After a couple early rough childhood flashbacks, we see Donnie just does not have the heart to stay at his office job in LA while he moonlights in the underground boxing scene in Tijuana. After local trainers blackball him for getting professional training, Donnie decides to move to Philly and convinces Rocky to take him under his wing.
This would not be a Rocky film without a romance angle and Donnie’s love interest in this film is his neighbor Bianca (Tessa Thompson). Their scenes developing their relationship feel both different and similar to how Rocky and Adrian first started seeing each other in the very first film. By the film’s end Bianca proves to be just as instrumental for Donnie’s success as Adrian was for Rocky.
Donnie faces off against Leo Sporino (Gabe Rosado). I have never seen a fight shot like this in a movie to the best of my recollection. The best way I can describe it is like there is a stationary camera between the two fighters and it is constantly spinning around with a new dynamic camera angle on one of the fighters kind of like the camera in the classic game Punch-Out! It is incredibly effective at making me feel like you were right there in the fight, and I can only tip my hat for the filmmakers being so brazen to stick with this unique camera shot throughout the entire fight.
Of course the big draw of the film is Donnie’s headline fight against world champion, “Pretty” Ricky Conlon (Tony Bellew). Creed does a fine job antagonizing him by setting him up as a boxer who has one last fight scheduled before he goes to prison for making a terrible mistake, and he wants to capitalize on Donnie’s name by having one more big payday to set up his family before he gets locked up.
There are only a few extras on the BluRay. There are 20 minutes of deleted scenes. None are really all that must see, and I can see why they were cut as they mostly were there to help set up the backstory going into the first act of the film. There are two behind-the-scenes features that are both must see however. Becoming Adonis is about the intense year-long training Michael B. Jordan went to transform into Adonis Creed. Know the Past, Own the Future interviews most of the cast and crew about the history of Rocky and how Creed is essentially about passing the Rocky torch to a new generation.
Other Random Backlog Movie Blogs
12 Angry Men (1957)
12 Rounds 3: Lockdown
21 Jump Street
Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie
Atari: Game Over
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Batman: The Killing Joke
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
Cabin in the Woods
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Clint Eastwood 11-pack Special
The Condemned 2
Field of Dreams
For Love of the Game
Good Will Hunting
Man of Steel
Marine 3 & 4
Running Films Part 1
Running Films Part 2
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Star Trek I-XII
Take Me Home Tonight
The Tooth Fairy 1 & 2
The Wrestler (2008)
X-Men: Days of Future Past