Hot Take: The Rocky franchise lives on with Creed. Pound for pound, the best franchise in the history of cinema always delivers at least a jab at the theater but with Creed delivers a staggering blow that’s almost a knock out but should be destined for a rematch. Yo, Rocky! Adonis is coming to join you!
I’m not going to hide my absolute adoration for the Rocky franchise. It’s one of the best, if not the best movie franchises ever developed. Consider Creed. A meager $35 million budget partners one of the hottest actors and directors (Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler) with Sylvester Stallone in the part he plays so perfectly, it’s hard to imagine why he’d play any other part.
Creed is an homage to the Rocky franchise. There are so many elements re-imagined in Creed from the original. However, Coogler introduces some new wrinkles to the film, particularly, the way it is shot. While it’s hard to escape the mood of the Rocky franchise, the feel is fresh and different and helps Creed stand on it’s own. The fusion of old and new is remarkably done to the point where nothing feels corny. See the last Die Hard film and you’ll realize how impossible a task that seems to be.
Stallone as Rocky is phenomenal. If there isn’t a Best Supporting Actor nomination with his name on it, there really evaluating on a different scale. The performance is one of his best. Jordan as Adonis Johnson, the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, is a little uneven but comes in strong as well.
Like the entire Rocky series, Creed is highly watchable. It’ll be impossible to turn this one off if it appears on cable or Netflix down the road. At 133 minutes, you’ll be stunned at how fast it goes by. Give director Coogler credit for pumping an extra shot of adrenaline in a franchise that doesn’t show signs of slowing down.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- The Franchise Lives On
Like the original Rocky, there’s something about Creed that feels like a prelude to more. After seeing this movie that’s more like a recharge rather than a reboot, it’s hard to imagine a world where Creed II doesn’t exist.
- You Can Tell the Creatives Behind Creed Are Rocky Fans
This feels like a passion project. The movie feels so energetic and cared for. It’s a pleasure to watch.
- Capturing the Spirit of Philadelphia
As is done in previous Rocky films, Philadelphia plays a big part in the movie. The city is captured flawlessly. The references are spot on and that cheese steak sure looks delicious.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- How Long Do I Have to Wait For the Next One?
This was not the best of 2015 but you’re not going to get much negativity from me when it comes to Rocky movies. Even when I tell you I hated Rocky V, I’ll watch that movie every time it comes on. Every damn time!