I don't even know where to begin. There's just so much good stuff to cover! Writer/Director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) merged both a brilliant script with some genius-level camera work all rolled into one. Coogler lays out a complex and genuine journey for an African American male who must deal with abandonment issues. In other words, this isn't just a story about a black guy who's angry all the time and wants to fight; it's deeper than that.
The overall plot is full of drama, bits of humor and great fight scenes. Speaking of which, the fight scenes were wonderfully choreographed. There are very few moments when they feel staged. (Unlike in Southpaw.) Not only does Coogler involve real life boxers in the film but there are a few scenes that show Jordan taking real punches! One other minor detail that is worth paying attention to is how there are very few cut scenes during some of the fights. The camera rarely cuts off which makes some of the scenes that much more enjoyable to watch.
As for the acting, it was a great clash of the new school meeting the old school. Michael B. Jordan (who plays Creed) represents the new school and delivers an impeccable performance.He was able to deliver a wide range of aspects to his character such as being charismatic, angry, charming, sensitive, tough, witty, and more.
You'll be saying, "What horrible Fantastic Four movie?" after seeing this performance.
Jordan ALMOST lost this acting battle with the old school champ, Sylvester Stallone (who plays Rocky Balboa). I may go out on a limb and say that Stallone may have put him self in the running for the"Best Male Supporting Actor" running. This was almost like an "acting tug of war" between the two. Regardless the on-screen chemistry between Jordan and Stallone works just fine.
As you could probably tell from "The Good" section, this movie was really really good. If you wanted an idea of what this movie was like, it's like Fruitvale Station + Rocky. (Big surprise right?)
Matter of fact, this is kind of like the "Black Rocky". It's not a rip-off by any means, but it is very similar to the Rocky story except from a different, ethnic perspective.
I certainly appreciated the character development of Jordan's Creed character because it didn't fall into the stereotypical, Hollywood, one-dimensional portrayal of a troubled African American youth. This movie oozed authenticity whether it be the emotional hurdles Creed faces, the love interests, or the entire boxing element itself.
The craziest thing about this movie, at least in my experience, is the effect it will have on the audience. While I was in the theater, during the fights, the audience literally cheered and boo'd as if they were watching a real fight. Any movie that can pull you in that much deserves a viewing in my opinion. So, by all means, go see this yesterday! Get your popcorn ready because this movie was a certified KO! (See what I did there? KO... Boxing movie... No?...Well I thought it was funny.)
The Rating: 9.5/10
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Bonus Q&A Videos:
I was extremely fortunate to attend the one screening in Chicago that just so happened to have the cast and crew of Creed make a special guest appearance. I was able to get some footage of a few questions from the Q&A after the movie. Please enjoy and share.