By Cole Weinstein and Joohan Kim
“Creed” preaches redemption--not just in its plot, but for its actors as well. For young star Michael B. Jordan, it is a welcome return to the spotlight after the abysmal “Fantastic 4.” For 69-year-old Sylvester Stallone, it is a return from the dead after 5 years of lackluster “Expendables” sequels and his last, failed attempt at a boxing film, “Grudge Match.”
“Creed” is a continuation of the acclaimed “Rocky” franchise, coming out almost 40 years after the original. It tells the story of Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), son of the late Apollo Creed, who was once Rocky’s fiercest rival and closest friend. When Adonis decides a desk job isn’t for him, he sets out to Philadelphia to find Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and train to forge his own legacy as the greatest boxer of all time.
“Creed” is a really good holiday film that both Rocky and non-Rocky fans will enjoy. It features great acting, a sound story, and some chilling emotional moments. The chemistry between Stallone and Jordan is natural and believable, and Tessa Thompson is a great addition to the cast as Bianca, an upcoming musical performer and friend to Adonis.
Ryan Coogler’s film direction is great, especially when you consider Creed is only his second feature film after “Fruitvale Station,” which also stars Jordan. He delivers a fresh new take on the “Rocky” franchise with a seriously jaw-dropping fight in particular. Along with the unmistakably new but subtly reminiscent score by Ludwig Göransson, this is truly a “Rocky” for a new generation.
While “Creed” succeeds in many ways, it is not a film free of flaws. Considering it’s a Hollywood sports film, it definitely has its corny moments. The pacing is awkward in points, as the movie gets lost in a few lulls along the way.
Still, it’s nice to see Michael B. Jordan back on his feet and it’s always a pleasure to see Sylvester Stallone in a good picture. Overall, “Creed” is a refreshing rebirth of the “Rocky” franchise that serves as an extremely entertaining popcorn flick.
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