FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: Last night I watched the film “Creed,” which stars Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle, Fantastic Four ), Sylvester Stallone (Rocky, Over the Top), Tessa Thompson (Selma, Dear White People), Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show [TV series], Cosby [TV series]), and Tony Bellew. It is directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, The Sculptor [short]) who also co-wrote the screenplay with Aaron Covington. Adonis Creed (Jordan), the son of famed boxer Apollo Creed, travels to Philadelphia in order to be trained by Rocky Balboa (Stallone) so he can create his own legacy in the ring, avoiding his father’s name.
Although the “Rocky” marathon on my site ended a year ago, we are back with another “installment”: “Creed.” When I first heard about this movie, my eyes rolled. I was rather frustrated and hysterical at how they would not only bring back this franchise, but in a spinoff with a new character. Basically it would just be another boxing movie without Rocky (even though he appears in it). I wasn’t willing to see it, until it came out and got rave reviews. Critics and fans alike adored this film, and it shocked me. I was actually hoping to see this, as from what I read seemed really good. Some even said that it almost touches the original “Rocky.” And, after seeing it, I will say that I was left disappointed. I don’t know how someone could think this was great because in fact, it wasn’t. When I started this flick at 9:30, I was already tired. It was a long day and my short hours of sleep the night before were catching up to me. I hoped for a stellar release to keep me awake, besides the sugary treats in my hand. The thing is, the beginning of this film was actually good. I got a feel for who Adonis is (a fighter, duh), and I was planning on relating to the guy for the rest of the story. But once it actually got to him being an adult, that’s where things began to dip. Now, don’t get me wrong: I wasn’t against this movie the whole way. I wasn’t one of those guys who wants only Rocky to have the limelight and won’t give someone else a chance. I was wanting this to be as great as what people said, but it just wasn’t. This whole plot reveals to us how Adonis doesn’t want to be caught in his father’s shadow, as he either doesn’t want to screw up the family name or wants to make his own legacy. I get that, but I really wish it was fleshed out more. Only a few scenes in this release took this issue head-on, the rest being a few mentions of it and fillers of other things. Besides him wanting to stay out of his father’s shadow, I knew very little of Adonis, and couldn’t relate or connect with him as much as I wanted. With Rocky, I knew what the man was going through. Not because I saw several films of him, but because his situation is easy to understand. He was a nobody who wanted to make a name for himself. With that, they tackled Rocky’s issues and applied his abysmal life to raise the stakes even more. Now we get to Adonis, and his situation is flipped. He can go out and fight because of his last name, but he doesn’t want that to engulf his own personality (a personality I didn’t get to delve into much). Most of the movie centered around him training for no apparent reason (except when he decides to fight towards the end) and his bonding with his newly acquired girlfriend, Bianca (Thompson). Like the situation with Rocky and Adrian, Adonis and Bianca’s relationship was definitely awkward and weird, at least at first. I don’t get how they ended up together, but once they did they had some good chemistry. But most of this took up a majority of the two-hour venture, and it was boring. Of course I care about the development of characters, but Adonis wasn’t really developed. His issue was the thing that was put on the spotlight more, and even that was shown in little pieces. He would start random fights over someone calling him Baby Creed, he would deny his last name, and he would break down over his father’s loss. All of these, except for the break down, lightly touched on his issue. Not that I need to be spoon fed his problems or need overacting for him to express his inner turmoil, I just needed more raw emotion. I didn’t get much of that from Adonis. I understand what he is going through, but that is basically because I have seen examples of it in other television shows or films. Throughout this runtime, I was scratching at the surface of who was Adonis, but never broke through. And boy, was this film long because of that. Many things happen before his fight at the end, but most of it can be extremely boring. Not that I want nonstop action or funny/silly moments like in most of the “Rocky” sequels, but I want something of substance to hold me over. Most of this substance went to Stallone’s Rocky, who stole the show every time. Without him, this thing wouldn’t have stood on its own two feet. You can never go wrong with the Italian Stallion, and he had some really good moments. I don’t like how awful his life it getting though, as with every newer release that comes out, since “Rocky III,” something terrible has happened to Rock. I won’t spoil what goes on with him in this one, but I feel that if they do a sequel to this, we won’t be seeing Stallone co-star in it. There are two more things I want to discuss about this film, those being the originality and music of the story. In terms of originality, this thing was half-and-half. There were some things that were new, like the characters, but some things that weren’t, like the ending. Something that these “Rocky” films have trouble with is coming up with something new. Once you reach “Rocky IV,” you’ve pretty much seen it all. The only thing that makes it great is the characters and how entertaining it is. With “Creed,” I didn’t find much enjoyment, and the characters could go either way at times. It basically felt like the original “Rocky,” but with a new leading star in a modern, post-Rocky time. As for the musical score, it waned on me. I was wondering if they would do something different in order to steer away from its predecessor’s, and it did, but it felt like it was trying too much. The many songs of this release include rap, some sharp noises, and hints at the old score. It’s like the old score was trying to break through, but it just couldn’t, and the overall music that protruded from this flick was shaky. All in all, I did like some parts of this movie. It wasn’t bad, no matter how much my review may suggest that. This cuts back on the silly moments that most “Rocky” films have and it is well-grounded. The cinematography was good, the acting was performed well (props to Stallone and Jordan), and the directing was nice to see as well. I just wish that I cared more for Adonis and that the story have more meat and enjoyment. What it boils down to is, Adonis isn’t the next Rocky. He’s his own thing and however you like him will determine if he’s able to stand on his own in a sequel (which I think will happen). I don’t think he can do it myself, as quite a bit of his characterization in this felt hollow. Overall, this was a disappointing release that had some enlightening moments, a good Rocky, and some lackluster development of Adonis. FINAL SCORE: 78%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer”