Creed, review: ‘Intriguingly credible’

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

18 minutes ago
Mary Langan with her 23-year-old son, James

Carers of adults with demential and disabilities are demanding change after a report revealed there is a “breakdown of trust” on the Haringey boards designed to represent them.

12 minutes ago
Belsize Park Gardens, Belsize Park, NW3, £1,250,000, Benham & Reeves, 020 7435 9822

Bag yourself a coveted NW3 poscode with one of these three outstanding properties.

07:30
Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh

With just a month of the season remaining, Middlesex appear better-placed to become county champions than at any time since their last title 23 years ago.

Yesterday, 22:30
Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (right) could soon be lining up alongside Tottenham's Victor Wanyama (left) after Spurs made a move to sign the 23-year-old today

Mauricio Pochettino admits he would like to sign a pacy attacking midfielder before the end of the transfer window as Tottenham seek to bring Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha to White Hart Lane.

Yesterday, 18:13
Belsize Grove

It’s little wonder that Belsize Park’s stucco-fronted houses, trendy status and proximity to some of London’s top school attract young professionals and families alike.

Yesterday, 17:50
Jay Rayner's Ten Food Commandments offer 'moral guidance'

Jay Rayner talks to Zoe Paskett about his new book and one man show, The Ten (Food) Commandments

Yesterday, 17:14
Nina Martynchyk with her foster mother, Nina B

A young woman who overcame anorexia is organising a conference with the Royal Free Hospital to draw attention to how the condition affects children and teenagers

Yesterday, 17:12
Portland Place students Emanuelle Chalupa, Amiee Douglas and Harry England celebrate their results

Portland Place school students returned to school this morning to collect their GCSE results, with most being more than satisfied with what they found.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

HOT JOBS

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