I don’t remember the last time I watched a Rocky movie but I still appreciated what they did here. I really wonder how true die-hard fans of the franchise think of this movie. I hoped they liked and enjoyed it because I, not a die-hard fan, did.
To be honest, I liked this film a lot more when I first exited the theatre compared to writing this right now. It’s not a huge issue but it is still one. The issue is, that this is your typical underdog movie. I’m feeling a trend. Well it’s not really at trend since Southpaw is the only boxing film I’ve seen this year or in recent memory. This all stemmed from the fact that when talking about Spotlight, a film with great performance, the narrative was actually really flat. And for me, I felt it here as well. Yes, there is the whole chemistry with Uncle Rocky and all, but it goes back into the normal underdog story and the whole cliché of misunderstanding and I no longer support you. I really hate that cliché. So all in all, narrative wise this movie is predictable and doesn’t really bring anything new to the table.
That being said, I would say it did bring new things to the table in terms of how to handle a spin-off movie from a franchise. If the Die Hard people were smart, they’ll do this rather than a prequel for Die Hard 6. But I digress. The narrative here is an realistic and natural one after the whole Rocky franchise. It works here because Rocky is around but as a mentor and he is included in the film rather than just being mentioned. Had a buddy who said that he would enjoy the film more if Rocky wasn’t around and I would disagree (though I do wonder how that film would have panned out) as the chemistry of Rocky and Baby Creed both helped this new spin-off have its own identity and also helped flesh out a bit more of the Rocky lore and a quick update on how the folks of Rocky are doing.
Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. Yes, the narrative is simple but the direction was great. The cinematography was great. The long-shot fight was shot masterfully and was a spectacle to witness. The constant tracking shots throughout the film gave a sense of realism as we, the audience, experience whatever Baby Creed was experiencing, be it the excitement and anxiety of going into our first boxing match or even just the morning exercises.
Michael B. Jordan saved himself after that disastrous F4. I mean I guess it helps to work with a director you worked with before and having a legend alongside you. I do wonder if this will gather enough steam to have a new franchise called Creed Part etc. cause having another long time franchise of boxing stemming from Rocky would be very interesting.
Stallone here plays Rocky and he’s fine here. Plays the old man convincingly enough and still has fight in him. Though the whole narration about his health fell sideways for me, it seemed like a direction for motivation. Again, I’m sick of the whole I’m sick, so do it for me cliché and one misunderstanding or something I didn’t tell you makes you hate me clichés.
Tessa Thompson’s introduction and chemistry was nice and it was believable but it got soured when the who misunderstanding cliché hit but beyond that I liked there relationship as it was an authentic one where both parties have baggage and they’re coming together regardless of that.
So all in all, I enjoyed it. Narration could have done something new but it did what it needed to do. If you are looking for a ground-breaking boxing narrative, it has somewhat of that here due to its legacy. But if it was a true stand-alone film, we all have seen something of this sort before. Now that’s merely the narrative, the cinematography on the other hand, is definitely something for you to check out. So yeah, go watch Creed.