Creed, review: ‘Intriguingly credible’

PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 January 2016

Creed. Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures

Creed. Picture: Warner Bros. Pictures

Archant

Sylvester Stallone is happy to play second fiddle in this well-considered reboot of the Rocky series.

Here’s an odd proposition for you – a serious Rocky film. There hasn’t been one of them for four decades, maybe ever. A serious, stripped down Rocky film is like a back to basics Fast & Furious where they spend most of the film tuning up their motors – in a montage – and talking through their motivation for the big street race on Saturday, rather than pulling off outrageous heists and crashing cars from one Dubai skyscraper to the next. Is that a F&F film you need to see?

The angle for Rocky 7 is to focus on the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed (Rocky’s opponent who was killed in the ring by Dolph Lundgren’s Drago in Rocky IV) and his attempts to make it as a boxer. Adonis (Jordan) walks away from a life of luxury and roughs it in Rocky’s home town of Philadelphia where he tries to enlist the former champion’s help. Everybody is offended that he is departing from the prescribed boxing narrative – poor kid from the streets who fights because he has no other way out. His is more of a Batman Begins journey.

Creed is an intriguing attempt to translate cred into money. Director Coogler made his mark with the low budget Fruitvale Station. Being a hit at the Sundance film festival is one thing but Coogler wanted a real hit and he initiated this project and wrote the story, which is basically a remake of the original film. He brings a low key (comparative) realism to his Rocky film; though in the middle he has one great grandstanding sequence, a boxing match that is shot to look like one continuous take, the camera moving around getting right into the action and swooping around trying to capture the range of emotions.

Stallone has a producer’s credit but it isn’t really his show. Having crafted, against all odds, a dignified exit for his favourite character in Rocky Balboa, here he is overseeing an African American appropriation of his creation. You may object to seeing him pushed into a back up role, but Stallone seems content: he just loves playing Rocky.

Rating: 3/5 stars

A review of The Hateful Eight will appear on halfmanhalfcritic.weebly.com over the weekend.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

Yesterday, 18:30

Everton have completed the signing of Theo Walcott from Arsenal in a deal worth £20 million on a three-and-a-half year contract.

Yesterday, 17:00

Dagenham & Redbridge forward Joe White is delighted to be given the chance to get some match fitness with his loan spell to Hendon.

Yesterday, 15:00

Spurs have won eight of their last 10 games in all competitions and suffered just one defeat during that period - at the Etihad last month

Yesterday, 14:00

UCS youngsters won a thrilling final in east London

Yesterday, 12:39

The first time author has penned a strange and surreal tale of sexual assault

Yesterday, 16:12

Grand stucco-fronted houses and large Georgian and Victorian brick constructions line the wide streets of Little Venice, whilst charming mews houses can be found on the cobbled street of Bristol Gardens. For the ultimate canalside location nothing can beat a narrow boat.

Yesterday, 16:03

Your guide to all the things to do in Little Venice, including the best restaurants, shops, pubs, schools and things to do by the canal. PLUS our guide to property in the area

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now