If you are completely new to the fold (like me, *cough, cough* - Sorta), Creed is a spin-off from the Rocky films starring Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, an underdog boxer, his struggles and rise to fame and eventually, his retirement (I think, I'm not entirely sure as I haven't seen them all properly or the last one). Creed follows a similar beat. Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) is a young guy with a passion for boxing trying to find his place and make a name for himself. One might say it is in his veins and is the only thing that keeps him alive. From having a troublesome childhood, Adonis has dreams of being a boxer like his father and although he has a lot going on for him in life, nothing gets his blood pumping more than boxing. Wanting to become just like his father, a famous boxer, a champ, Adonis seeks the help of Rocky to train him. Rocky being retired, at first is reluctant to train young Adonis but due to Adonis' drive and passion, ends up being trained by the famous Rocky Balboa to his first proper fight. That's really about it. Nothing more, nothing less really. But this is a very well directed film.
The Director Ryan Coogler did a brilliant job of balancing old with the new and telling a story which stands on it's own away from the Rocky franchise but manages to stay connected. A story about a young aspiring boxer trained by an old legend. Charming in places, funny in others and the cinematography, for me, was great. Angles and imagery. The settings, how more "urban" it was without being oversaturated. The story isn't overly unexpected or surprising but their are some great moments with great dialog and scenes. What this film did for me, should do for others who haven't properly seen the rise of Rocky Balboa. The true underdog story. Having seen this film, I really wanted to watch all of the previous Rocky films and get an understanding of how Rocky became Rocky. For those who have seen a few Rocky films and enjoyed them or are fans of the Rocky franchise, they should love this film. This film sits firmly within the Rocky universe as it's own individual franchise apart from Rocky, but within the same wheelhouse.
Sylvester's acting was great. I cannot compare his character to his previous, for obvious reasons, but as an old boxer who isn't caught up with today's youth, urban culture and/or society and technology, this film has some truly great moments of letting these shine through, especially with the training montages. Michael is excellent in his portrayal of Adonis. There is a scene where Adonis is talking with Rocky after an incident at a club and is somewhat emotional. That Coogler really knows how to touch you in that spot, even if it is slight. I cannot wait to see more from the three, hopefully. Go and see this film. With the Oscars coming up, someone should be winning something. The Director maybe?