The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.
Don't be fooled by the title. For all intents and purposes Creed is Rocky 7. Some will even say that this emotional new film is the best instalment since 1976 original. Sylvester Stallone first Rocky was dark, a downbeat masterpiece that reflected a new era in Hollywood. Creed taps into that same gritty underdog authenticity. This film isn't only about boxing, but about these two men and mainly about this man who doesn't have a father and who really needs a positive male figure in his life.
Characters are very well realised. Michael B. Jordan is looking every inch like a fighter, he brought a terrific sense of grit and realism. He obviously sold the physicality but also the emotional scenes in which his character breaks a little and reveals finally some of the things that is going on in his mind. Jordan has washed the terrible Fantastic Four off his career, let's be honest, he earned that from us. Rocky has always been essentially the same person, for better or worse. It's Stallone signature role, his baby, way different than Rambo. I found him continually surprising, showing an understated note of tenderness and regret. In fact I used to think he was just a cartoon version of the actor he used to be anymore. But, Sylvester Stallone is not buried yet. Director captures the streets of Philadelphia so beautifully, he added such a great urban feeling that you can almost smell the city. It's so well filmed that the city genuinely feels like a character on its own.
This film is very fresh, even if it's using elements that are a bit seen before. We expect it to end with a big sporting events. The problem with that type of ending is that once the suspense is gone and you know what team looses and who prevailed, going back to watch this film a second time is not that entertaining. Creed reaches back to the archives a few too many times for key locations, costume elements and music cues - which are by the way magnificent, loud, big and exciting - but it's the details that elevate this material. The first major fight is staged with breathtaking precision, in what appears to be a single take. This being a Rocky movie, it goes without saying that the training montages are plentiful, featuring virtuosic editing and one bloodily beautiful extreme-slow-motion shot. Finally Creed is as formulaic and sentimental as you'd expect any Rocky movie to be. Plus, it reminds you why it was great in the first place. This film is a testament for greatness and it comes from the heart.
Overall, this film doesn't rely only on the fights but doesn't waste anything in it as well. It's not always as exciting as you expect it to be but it's a good character movie.