Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Creed is "Rocky" Full Circle, Just Like Star Wars 7
Remember when fans of Star Wars complained that The Force Awakens was a bit too much like the first movie?
Well, what is Creed but the Rocky story, only this time it's based on Apollo Creed's son? No one seemed to complain about that.
When we first meet Adonis (Michael B. Jordan), he's been in and out of foster homes and gets in a lot of fights. When he gets older, he's making money fighting in Mexico, and doing quite well, It's not against high-quality opponents, but he's fighting. That's not too far off from when we first meet Rocky, whose boxing career is on the way down and also has to be an enforcer for a loan shark.
When Adonis moves to Philadephia to hopefully get some tips from Rocky, he meets Bianca (Tessa Thompson), a singer who has progressive deafness. That's an interesting contrast to Adrian, a shy girl who "filled gaps" for Rocky.
Apollo Creed chose Rocky as his opponent to replace the one who was injured just before the fight. In Creed, Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew) chose Adonis because Ricky accidentally injured his opponent at the pre-fight press conference, and he wanted to exploit Adonis' connection with Creed.
Aside from that, the movie takes different moves to tell Adonis' story. He actually has a good job at a financial firm before he decides to switch to boxing full-time. He plugs away at Rocky before he decides to train Adonis. Jordan does a fine job as a man who wants to create his own legacy, while eventually learning how to embrace his father's name.
Still, Stallone's performance blew me away. When Entertainment Weekly handicapped the Supporting Actor race, it looked at how he played Rocky Balboa differently compared to the previous six movies. Rocky was shown as more vunerable, especially when he faces health problems. However, when he's training Adonis, his spirit is revived in a big way, more than when he did the same for Tommy Morrison in Rocky V. It's a great new take on a classic movie character, and it may be enough to get Oscar Gold in February. Mark Ruffalo's performance in Spotlight is still formidable, though.
As for the chance we'll get a Creed 2, it might be possible, Maybe this time he'll be light heavyweight champ, and Conlan will challenge him. We'll see, but Creed is still a fine boxing movie, much more than Rocky 6 1/2.