Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Writer/Director Ryan Coogler delivered one of the best Films of 2013 in Fruitvale Station, and exposed a whole new audience to the talents of Michael B. Jordan. This dynamic duo are back again in Creed, which was mocked when it was first announced, however it will knock-out all the naysayers to the count of ten with incredible performances and a proper revitalization of a beloved franchise. Creed is more than just an installment in the Rocky franchise, it is the potential birth of a new franchise surrounding the son of one of Rocky’s most intense opponents.
Adonis Johnson’s (Michael B. Jordan) father died prior to his birth and his mother abandoning him left him in limbo, surviving the ins-and-outs of the foster care system. Adonis’ world changes however when Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad) takes-in Adonis. Fast-forward to the present day, and we discover that Adonis inherits his father’s boxing talent, as he is winning fight after fight in underground boxing matches in Tijuana, Mexico by night, with a cozy desk job in Los Angeles by day. Adonis is set on becoming a boxer and sets out to do so by moving to Philadelphia to train. While in Philly, he meets Bianca (Tessa Thompson) who is Adonis’ noisy neighbour, and successfully attempts to enlist the expertise of the legend, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone).
What makes Creed such a great Film and a worthy successor to the Rocky franchise is the performance from Michael B. Jordan. His undeniably is brilliant as he commands every scene, channeling the true spirit of Balboa and the original film in the franchise. From start to finish, Jordan delivers an Oscar -worthy performance that is nothing short of sheer adrenaline and passion. Stallone also gives a great performance in his portrayal of a more weathered Rocky. We are convinced totally of the father-son dynamic between Balboa and Johnson. Tessa Thompson unfortunately is under-utilized in the Movie, but still she is present and we hope for more development in coming Films in the franchise.
Creed delivers every single hit with an incredible punch. Everything from the acting to the directing to the sound mixing is of the top caliber.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release CREED in theaters on Wednesday, November 25, 2015.