It’s been a while since I’ve posted to this blog, since I’ve had a stressful couple of months, but I intend to start posting regularly now that I have a little less on my plate. With that being said, let’s talk about Rocky. While I have seen all the Rocky movies, up to this point I’ve only really appreciated two of them: the subdued, dramatic, Academy Award-winning original; and the campy, hilarious Razzie Award-winning fourth one. In retrospect, I actually do think Rocky IV is a lot better than my fellow Razzie voters realized, even though it is a very goofy movie. So with this new film, the second reboot in the past decade, I would have appreciated it one way or the other. What we got was an interesting mix of both.
The film stars Michael B. Jordan as Apollo Creed’s illegitimate son Adonis. Now, Jordan is best known for his work in tense, dramatic films like Fruitvale Station and Fantastic 4, so this film from Fruitvale director Ryan Coogler seemed like a good opportunity for Jordan to flex his strengths and overcome is failures. But much to my surprise, the film doesn’t overlook the ridiculous world that Rocky takes place in. In fact, it embraces it at times.
For example, the film opens with a fight breaking out in juvie. Seems pretty hardcore, until we’re informed that the perpetrator is named Adonis. Literally the first thing we learn about Adonis, who was about eight at the time, is that “all he does is fight”. The sequence ends with Adonis asking a woman claiming to be his father’s wife what his dad’s name was. This is where the “CREED” title card drops like a brick.
The rest of the film continues in the same over-the-top fashion, but I was kind of hoping they’d take it even further. I wanted the robot from Rocky IV to show up while they were in Paulie’s room. I wanted the news reporters to talk about how Rocky ended the Cold War. That being said, there are a number of plot points that seem to have been left as possible stakes in case they do another movie. So maybe we’ll get a whole other Rocky franchise out of this. One can only hope.
Another minor complaint I have is that there’s too much Meek Mill on the soundtrack. It’s a very good soundtrack overall, but did we really need three Meek Mill songs? I don’t have a problem with the guy, but his semi-coherent shouting is distracting when there’s a movie going on.
While I do like the film’s use of tracking shots, I have to admit that it’s, for the most part, an aesthetically boring movie. The cinematography in Spotlight was disgusting, but at least it was noteworthy. It’s too bad there’s no Razzie for “Worst Cinematography”. Now there’s an award Spotlight deserves. But I digress.
I intended to comment on the over-the-top accent that the opponent, played by boxer Tony Bellew, had. It turns out that’s just what he sounds like. He probably had the least impressive performance in this movie, but everyone was pulling their weight here. I think Tessa Thompson is really going places. This Stallone guy could be onto something, too. He’s a bit old, but better late than never.
Overall, I’d give Creed a solid A-. I don’t see it making my top ten list, but I don’t have any major complaints about it. You should definitely see it. I’ll be getting back into the swing of things with more movie and music reviews really soon. The end of the year is fast approaching, and I have a ton of EOTY articles in mind. In the meantime, like this post if you like it, comment if you’ve got something to say, follow my blog if you really like it, you can also follow me on Twitter @thememe_supreme, and stay cool.