Creed (2015)
December 1, 2015 10:40 AM - Subscribe

The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

The film opened on November 25th, and currently has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It stars Michael B. Jordan as Adonis, Tessa Thompson as Bianca, Adonis's love interest, and Sylvester Stallone, who reprises his role as Rocky for the seventh time. It's the first Rocky film not written by Stallone. There's some early Oscar buzz around Stallone's performance in Creed, after he lost the Best Actor award for the first Rocky movie in 1976.

Creed was directed and co-written by Ryan Coogler, who had previously worked with Michael B. Jordan on 2013's Fruitvale Station.

posted by blithers (24 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've been wanting to discuss this movie, and kept waiting for a Fanfare post to go up - it finally occurred to me that I should just write it up myself!

I've only ever seen the original Rocky and none of the sequels, and I didn't feel out of step at all with the movie backstory, which I thought was really smartly handled. Michael B. Jordan was amazing (because: of course he was), and and it was wonderful to be reminded again of what a great actor Stallone is, underneath the action hero persona he's worn most of his career.

That long single shot of the first boxing match was AWESOME. I was on the edge of my seat, and it was so well choreographed and shot.

Also: the mini-Wire reunion with Wallace and Avon. Wallace is right there, Avon!
posted by blithers at 11:07 AM on December 1, 2015 [3 favorites]

I want to see this, but I just wanted to point out that Sylvester Stallone is now as old as Burgess Meredith was when the first Rocky came out.
posted by Etrigan at 11:26 AM on December 1, 2015 [6 favorites]

This movie was fantastic. Stallone does Oscar level work here, and probably will get nominated. I was watching a bunch of the first 4 Rocky movies over the weekend since spike was airing them non-stop and he's just so much better in this one. Not sure if it's forty years of comfort from playing the same character or, more likely, that he was focused solely on acting and not directing/writing. (Although I think he does maintain some kind of writing credit for this one. Maybe just characters or something?)

The writing is fantastic too. Pretty much everything is earned and nothing is overly cheesey. Got pretty close when the other trainer referred to Donnie as "Creed's blood" though. I really liked a lot of the small touches like the natural use of modern slang ("keeping it 💯") and when Tessa recognizes Rocky but doesn't say it immediately.

the first 15-20 minutes were a little bumpy, and I think that's not entirely unintentional. but it finds solid footing quickly after all the exposition is out of the way.

really would have liked to seen more lingering closeups on those cheesesteaks though.
posted by dogwalker at 11:33 AM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

really would have liked to seen more lingering closeups on those cheesesteaks though.

That was some top-notch food porn right there. I would have killed for a Philly cheesesteak after watching that scene.
posted by blithers at 11:39 AM on December 1, 2015 [4 favorites]

I enjoyed it, though, feel like I didn't enjoy it enough in comparison to some headlines and comments out on the Internets. Great performances by virtually everyone involved, and I expect nominations for either Stallone or Jordan or both. The movie might get nominated, but I'm not convinced it's a winner for an Oscar. I think part of my failure to enjoy it came from thinking of the parallels with the original Rocky. And well, four wheelers in a city? Call me flabberghasted!
posted by Atreides at 12:19 PM on December 1, 2015

Also, links to the Fanfare dicussions for the first six movies, for those that might be interested:
Rocky | Rocky II | Rocky III | Rocky IV | Rocky V | Rocky Balboa
posted by blithers at 12:49 PM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

I went in expecting it go suck and it was SO GOOD. Great portrayal of Philadelphia. And I thought the romantic relationship was excellent. Donnie was unusually nurturing. The hair scene! True love!
posted by bq at 10:04 AM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I really enjoyed how they flipped Donnie's background from what you stereotypically might expect - I had blindly assumed from the trailer and the general theme of the first Rocky movie that Creed would be a story about overcoming poverty. The more I think about it, the more I love that choice, particularly for a boxing movie with an African American protagonist. It's just such a smart and rewarding storytelling decision.
posted by warble at 11:01 AM on December 3, 2015 [4 favorites]

Aah, I loved it. I want Michael B. Jordan to play with my hair. Everyone was really excellent, and it was fun to have all the little cameos. Stitch! Avon! The boxing scenes were really well done, Sylvester Stallone was not playing a parody of himself, they didn't overdo the Eye of the Tiger, and I'm going to take my mom over Christmas and she will probably cry but it'll be worth it.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:00 PM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm going to take my mom over Christmas and she will probably cry but it'll be worth it

I saw the movie with my mother-in-law, who had been skeptical of the movie before we went, saying the Rocky films were guy movies, and walked out with nothing but praise. So it's a scientifically-tested (sample size = one) crowd-pleaser!
posted by blithers at 11:55 AM on December 4, 2015

I have never been a fan of Stallone ... till now. Like Robert Mitchum, age has given his presence a poignancy. I felt a little bad for the other actors, who were all great, because every time Stallone's on camera he steals the show without trying.

The bike scene was just brilliant.

Opening titles, with the MGM lion? Thrilling. Hollywood can still deliver A+ entertainment when it wants to, just like it did 40 years ago.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 12:26 PM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm curious why they didn't use the fantastic single-shot technique for the final fight against Conlan instead of for the first fight just minutes into the film. Obviously they couldn't do it for the entirety of the fight, but it would have a great thing to use for the 12th round at least.

That's my only gripe with the movie, which I do think merits some Oscar consideration.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:17 AM on December 17, 2015

The Rocky Series as Stallone biography
posted by nubs at 10:27 AM on December 17, 2015

Wait, V not at the bottom? That's just crazy talk.
posted by Etrigan at 10:47 AM on December 17, 2015

IV is the worst; it is not really a movie, more a mashup of rock video with boxing clips.
posted by nubs at 1:49 PM on December 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oscar noms are out - Stallone snagged the only nomination for Creed in Best Supporting Actor, after winning the Golden Globe in the same category a couple days ago.

So disappointed that both Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler were snubbed, though. :|
posted by blithers at 8:57 AM on January 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not only were Jordan and Coogler unfairly overlooked, so was the (female) DP, Maryse Alberti, who created that astonishing shot. (No woman DP has ever been nominated, bah humbug).

Award gripes aside - I loved it, and I loved how every element, from the sound design to costume to the location, which made the city another character, contributed to the storytelling. How the characters didn't explain their motivations to each other - showed, not told - and how well Mary Anne and Adonis's relationship was drawn in a few scenes. Well, all the relationships. Jordan was brilliant, and Stallone made me get all dusty. The fact that his son died only a couple of years ago makes that scene with the photo extra poignant. No cheap emotions, here, it's all sincere and committed.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 12:04 AM on January 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

I went to see this yesterday, and I'm just going to second all the praise. Loved it so much.
posted by Fence at 11:01 AM on January 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

And well, four wheelers in a city? Call me flabberghasted!

I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but that is straight up true life Philly: groups of kids riding around on dirt bikes and four-wheelers, swarming cars, doing long wheelies, etc. Baltimore too.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 4:49 PM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

No, not sarcastic at all. I had no idea of that element of Philly culture before this movie or Baltimore, now that you bring it up. I've grown up entirely within a bubble of ATVs being something predominantly located in the country, so it's completely alien to me to see them being driven around in an urban environment.
posted by Atreides at 7:27 AM on March 10, 2016

Here's a Vice interview with the director of 12 O'Clock Boys, a doc about one of the bike gangs in Baltimore.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 9:04 PM on March 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

(Saw this tonight.)

The big fight at the end has such weird pacing. It was like they knew the fight had to go to the final round, but they didn't really have anything after the drama of the first 2 rounds, so they just kinda amble on through it. When it was all over I was like, "Wait really that's it?"

The same thing with the inspiring run where the kids on bikes and ATVs go along with him. It felt like they wanted to act as if some big drama just happened but didn't actually bother to create the drama, quite..
posted by nom de poop at 11:51 PM on May 6, 2016

posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:24 AM on June 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

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