I have to admit I have never seen a single Rocky film in my life, yep, not a single film of Sylvester Stallone’s most famous pugilist rags to riches Philly story. When Creed came out last year, I didn’t really think of watching it or the trailer, I passed it off as another boxing movie I wouldn’t enjoy. And then I watched Creed, not knowing it was a Rocky movie, and I was floored by the storytelling and the gut wrenching moments of the film.
Since I am approaching this movie with virgin eyes, I really didn’t know what to expect. My only education of Rocky Balboa was limited to three things: Philadelphia, the Rocky steps, and the infamous entrance/training theme song. That was it and not knowing was a good thing, since I would be viewing the series meant for a new generation with no knowledge and history of the film. Creed is led by Michael B. Jordan taking on the role of Adonis “Hollywood” Johnson, an amateur boxer and illegitimate son of Rocky Balboa’s greatest foe, Apollo Creed.
From the amateur boxing areas in Tijuana to beautiful training montages reminiscent of some of Rocky I’s most famous scenes, Creed follows Adonis’ story from the lows to periods of glory all under the watchful eye of a very wizened and definitely aging Rocky Balboa, who throughout the years has seen his fair share of tragedies. From one fight to the next, Rocky teaches his cocky apprentice to become methodical, calculating, and to finally overcome himself.
The movie is powerful in its storytelling and beautiful in its fight scenes. With Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone playing complex and complicated characters Creed isn’t just one of those sports movie but one that really digs deep into the dangers of boxing and the emotional and physical toll on a person. It’s also about finding a mark and also respecting one’s legacy and with a rich cinematic history, Creed really draws a lot of inspiration from it. On the other hand, the fight scenes were beautiful and visceral; every cut, punch, and jab showed the brutality and primeval nature of boxing. Obviousness aside, the tension in each fight scene was palpable, I couldn’t stop myself from shouting in excitement, fear and disgust, the scenes were just too powerful.
Creed is that one rare sports movie that I truly enjoyed, the storytelling wasn’t complicated and the rich history didn’t deter me from not watching it. The story was beautiful and really amazing and the visual scenes were just poetic and artistic.