I love a good cinematic surprise, and boy oh boy did I get one last week when I saw Creed. This sixth sequel in the Rocky franchise is also a spinoff, focusing on the son of Apollo Creed as opposed to just Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa. It’s also one of the best movies of the year so far, masterfully done by filmmaker Ryan Coogler. I expected very little, but this film blew me away. It’s now something that I consider a dark horse awards player, in particular for Stallone. Hard to believe, I know, but believe. The flick is out today and is a must see, so hopefully I can convince you now…
The film centers on Adonis Johnson (Jordan), who finds out he’s the son of Apollo Creed and sets off to follow in his father’s footsteps. He tracks down retired and broken down Rocky Balboa (Stallone) in the hopes of being trained by him, leading to a bond neither of them expected. There’s plenty of boxing, including a sequence brilliantly shot in one take, but this is a story about family, legacy, and your place in the world, more so than just a sports drama. It’s just amazing. Coogler directs and co-writes with Aaron Covington, while in addition to Jordan and Stallone, the cast includes Tony Bellew, Wood Harris, Graham McTavish, Phylicia Rashad, Tessa Thompson, and more. Maryse Alberti is the cinematographer here (more on her in a bit) and the score is by Ludwig Göransson. It’s all top notch in Creed, from start to finish.
I adored this movie, with special recognition going to Stallone’s supporting turn and the visuals from Alberti, who deserves a citation in Best Cinematography (it’s some of the best camera work of the year to me, and I’ve seen The Revenant, though I’m embargoed from saying anything about that one right now). Stallone has never been better, playing his iconic character as an old man, lacking much to live for anymore. Somehow, it’s heartbreaking stuff. Jordan is excellent as well, while Coogler one ups himself after a promising debut with Fruitvale Station (also starring Jordan). As I mentioned earlier this week, this is the best Rocky film since the original, and I mean that. This is one special flick.
Awards wise, what used to be a laughable concept is now something I’m sure Warner Brothers is considering for Creed. Expect sudden campaigns to be launched […]