Creed Movie Review

Dominic Narcissi, Staff Reporter

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            Creed, written and directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan, is a sequel/spinoff to the Rocky movie franchise. The story begins years after the last Rocky film, Rocky Balboa, and focuses not on Rocky, but instead on the son of Rocky’s friend, rival, and trainer Apollo Creed and his rise from humble beginnings. The film maintains a wildly different status than the past Rocky films in many ways, yet still feels like a Rocky movie, despite the much more adult tone taken. The acting on all sides is phenomenal. Michael B. Jordan as Adonis was great casting and only adds to his ever growing list of great performances, not including the mess that was The Fantastic Four. This may also be Stallone’s best performance as Rocky. Not for a single moment when he’s on screen will you think you’re watching an actor, but rather an aged boxer whose greatest moments are all behind him. Tessa Thompson plays the love interest Bianca. She’s a bit unusual of a character, but she’s a talented actress and plays the role well. The technical aspects of the film remain a highlight if the film as well.

The cinematography in Creed is astounding. The use of close and long shots creates a certain tension and anticipation, placing the viewer directly into Adonis’s shoes in many of the most intense scenes. Now, the use of long, continuous shots may be on the verge of becoming gimmicky for ever since Birdman many a modern film has attempted to emulate the same artistic feel through the shots the movie was famous for, but Creed does them so well and appropriately that the notion of using a gimmick can be forgiven. Additionally, the sound effects are as good as they come. Every impactful punch sounds like you’re the one getting hit: a sense of complete immersion into this film is almost achieved, a feat very few films have achieved. The soundtrack is interesting to say the least as it mixes remixed classic Rocky tunes with new, more modern songs mixing Philadelphian and Los Angeles hip hop cultures as well as adding completely new, more traditional movie scores. At no point in the film does it completely give in to the tropes and expectations of prior Rocky films, nor does it completely stray away from them. The only real way to describe Creed in comparison to the other films is that it is not a sequel or a spinoff; just like much of the soundtrack, it’s a remix. Sure, the main rhythms and beats may be present, but in many ways it’s an entirely new song with its own lyrics and updated composition. Occasionally there will be a call back to the original which, if you heard the original song, will enhance the experience, but regardless of whether you have or haven’t it won’t detract from the experience. Some remixes are terrible, successful only because of the original, but luckily, Creed by itself is a fantastic film, and, much like Adonis, should not be looked down upon because of the name of its predecessors. Hopefully the academy realizes this. Almost 40 years ago, Rocky won the Oscar best picture, and 40 years later Creed has a better shot than any of the other sequels to come in this span of time to win it again. In conclusion, Creed is nothing short of phenomenal: entertaining enough for casual audiences, complex enough for film buffs, and genuinely good enough for a best picture nomination.

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