Creed movie: Second best of 'Rocky' series?Written by Leroy Cleveland
Forty years ago, one of the most inspirational films ever debuted.
The iconic film, made on a budget of just over $1 million and shot in a mere 28 days, was a sleeper hit; it earned $225 million in global box office receipts becoming the highest grossing film of 1976 and went on to win three Oscars, including Best Picture.
Rocky received many positive reviews and turned a little-known Sylvester Stallone into a major star while its sequels would hatch the careers of Mr. T, Dolph Lundren, Hulk Hogan and Carl Weathers.
The epic film would spawn five sequels: Rocky II, III, IV, V and Rocky Balboa (2005), all written by and starring Stallone, who also directed all sequels except for Rocky V.
Creed (or Rocky 7?)
Creed, which was released last fall, was directed by Ryan Coogler and written by Coogler and Aaron Covington, and is a spin-off and sequel to the Rocky film series.
It stars Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson Creed, Apollo's son, with Sylvester Stallone reprising the role of Rocky Balboa. It also features Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashād, Tony Bellew, and Graham McTavish.
And it's the first Rocky film neither written nor diected by Stallone.
Creed (Rocky 7)
Release date: November 25, 2015 (USA)
Director: Ryan Coogler
Box office: 173.6 million USD
Film series: Rocky
Story by: Ryan Coogler
Length: 2 hr 13 min
Sequel or spin-off?
While some would consider Creed a sequel (i.e. Rocky 7) it's more of a spin-off. Although it could be a sequel as well. For the first time, Rocky is in a supporting role and appears to pass the torch to young Adonis Creed. Hence, the chant for "Creed" near the end of the movie is very symbolic.
Nominated for an Oscar, Creed may very well become a classic. Time will tell.
And while it helps if the viewer has some semblance of familiarity with the Rocky lineage and isn't repulsed by boxing, this heartfelt crowd-pleaser can be enjoyed by anyone with emotions.
"One need not be proficient in “Rocky” lore to appreciate “Creed,” but for those who have followed the exploits of Sylvester Stallone’s Philadelphia boxer, Ryan Coogler’s latest film pays unexpectedly rich emotional dividends," wrote Olie Henderson of RogerEbert.com.
“Creed” is so reminiscent of the 1976 film that introduced us to Rocky Balboa that I sense newcomers will fall for “Creed”’s characters the way viewers fell for “Rocky”’s 40 years ago. Though 2006’s “Rocky Balboa” was a fitting final chapter for its titular hero, “Creed” finds more of his story to explore."
"In the process, the film reminds us that, employed by the right director, Sylvester Stallone can be a wonderful actor."
Sylvester Stallone is absolutely brilliant in a role quite a bit different from the tough guys in the previous Rocky movies and the Rambo series.
Moreover, the trainer-fighter chemistry in Creed is remarkable and, unbelievably, rivals the relationship Rocky had with Mickey (Burgess Meredith) in the first three movies.
For his performance, Stallone was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, his first Oscar nomination since the original film. He won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor, Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, his first Golden Globe.
The least 'macho' of the Rocky movies, there's something endearing about this one.
Is Creed better than Rocky?
No, but it mimics Rocky in some ways yet has its own distinct flavor and more emotional and humanistic elements than all of the previous Rocky films sans, perhaps, the first.