Movie Review: Creed (2015)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2015 movie starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone.

Synopsis: Adonis, the illegitimate son of boxer Apollo Creed, grew up never knowing his father. When he decides to become a professional fighter, he moves to Philadelphia and convinces his dad's former friend/rival, Rocky Balboa, to train him. While Adonis hoped to establish his own legacy by keeping his lineage a secret, his connection to Apollo Creed and Rocky result in him getting an unexpected title shot against the undefeated but disgraced champion.

Review

With the exception of maybe the fifth one, I absolutely love the Rocky films and have seen every single one of them more times than I can count. However, when this film came out in 2015, I honestly wasn't that interested in seeing it. This is both because the idea of Rocky (Stallone) training a protege had been done before (again, Rocky V) and because I still would much rather see a movie about Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) getting his start rather than his offspring.

However, I wasn't doing a whole lot yesterday afternoon and had an opportunity to watch this movie while waiting until it was time to take my daughter to the ice rink. Surprisingly, I didn't hate it as much as I thought I would. But, I also wasn't as big of a fan of this film as I am of the first four Rocky movies or even Rocky Balboa.

I'll start out by saying there were some things I did like about this. For one, I was actually somewhat impressed by Michael B. Jordan's portrayal of Adonis Johnson/Creed. And, I can see why Stallone received Oscar consideration for his performance in this film.

The problem was there were just too many other things about this film that just didn't work for me. The big one, at least in my opinion, is this film just didn't make enough effort to build up Adonis' opponent, Ricky Conlan (Bellew). In other words, other than his undefeated record and the fact he was facing a prison sentence, there was nothing interesting about him, especially when compared to the opponents Rocky faced. When Adonis finally fought him, I realized I didn't really like or hate him enough to care if Adonis beat him or not.

I also wasn't a big fan of Adonis' relationship with his neighbor, Bianca (Thompson). Yes, they had a couple entertaining scenes together. But, it just seemed like the movie was trying to force their romance on me and, at minimum, it didn't seem anywhere near as magical as the relationship Rocky had with Adrian (Talia Shire).

In fact, if anything, I think I would have much rather seen the movie spend more time on Adonis' relationship with his adoptive mother/Apollo's widow, Mary Anne (Rashad). That relationship actually seemed a lot more genuine, with Mary Anne rescuing Adonis from the foster system as a child and raising him as her own despite no biological connection. Not to mention, her relationship with him actually reminded me a bit of the whole Rocky/Adrian thing with her standing behind her adopted son despite not approving of his career choice. Unfortunately, the movie decided to only make her a minor character with only a couple scenes, something that I thought was very disappointing.

Final Opinion

This wasn't a bad movie. And, there were things I did like about it. However, when compared to the original Rocky films, it does lose something. Ultimately, after seeing it, I still find myself wishing we would have had an Apollo Creed prequel instead.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 03/11/2019, StevenHelmer
 
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