Spared or Spoiled Reviews: Creed

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

Creed (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

Creed Poster

Directed by Ryan Coogler

Written by Ryan Coogler & Aaron Covington  Based on Characters by Sylvester Stallone

Starring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa ThompsonPhylicia Rashad & Anthony Bellew

Creed is a pure Rocky film. One of the best of the franchise in fact. However it takes a while to get going. Which is weird because in the beginning I was thinking it was moving too fast. But they were just in a hurry to get to the good stuff. The Rocky stuff. The training and the fighting. And the, “I can’t do it.” “You can do it, kid.” “I can’t do it.” “You can do it!” And Creed turns out to be a really good Rocky film. Not the best dialogue. Not so very original. But with great performances. Especially Sylvester Stallone. This is his best performance since the first Rocky. Nice work all around.

Verdict: SPARED

“Someday, Rocky my friend, all this will be yours.” “Eh. This is Philadelphia. I don’t want this crap.” “Oh yeah I forgot. Mel’s a Met fan. Someday, Rocky, all this will be NYC parking.”

You know that one movie that always makes you cry… like waterworks. Every time you watch it, it still makes you cry. With other movies you might cry the first time but if you watch it again… nothing. No tears. That’s the way it is usually. But there’s always that one film that gets you every time. For me that film is Rocky. Because watching Rocky for me, and I’ve seen it more times than I can count, is like turning on a faucet. And it’s always at the same point. At the end, right after the big fight. He gives Apollo all he’s got and then the bell rings, the camera pulls out and then those motherfucking strings kick in. And my eyes open up like a fire hose. But that’s the part that gets me. Then he starts yelling for his girl, “Adrian!” and she starts yelling back, “Rocky!” and he’s yelling, “Adrian!” and I’m weeping like a newborn. It’s disgusting. Every. Single. Time.

Creed

“Adrian. We did it.” “That’s so funny. You’re really funny. Now who the fuck is Adrian?”

So what I’m trying to say is this movie, Creed, had a lot to live up to because Rocky I is sensational. Rocky II is like an exorcism. Rocky III, Rocky IV. They’re all good. The series loses me after those. So I really didn’t expect Creed to even rate with the classics but it does. It actually does. And that was a pleasant surprise.

Rocky and Creed Speed Bag

“Real men don’t cry at movies, do they Rocky?” “Everybody who can feel cries at something. But only real men can admit it.” “Yeah but real men don’t blog right?” “Shut up and hit the bag.”

This is the Rocky story with a twist but they’re all the Rocky story with a twist. That’s what it is. Just like The Force Awakens is the Star Wars movies with a twist and Fury Road is the Mad Max story with a twist. No one’s asking you to reinvent the wheel. It is what it is. Just give the people what they want.

Creed Movie Rocky

“You see that guy? That’s your worse enemy.” “That’s you, Rock.” “Nah. Nah. I meant the other…oh shit that is me. I look good.” “You need to lose that hat.” “Never!”

We want the underdog. He’s mad at the world. We want the old veteran. He takes the kid under his wing. We want the training. Good god do we want the training. Can we get some cool training montages up in here. We want the build up. We want the villain. And we want the big fight. Creed delivers. Creed delivers wonderfully. Great Rocky movie.

Tessa Thompson and Michael B Jordan

“Tessa. I know for a fact that Mel likes you.” “No he doesn’t. He’s hated every movie I’ve ever done.” “Maybe? But he liked YOU in them.” “You messing with me, Michael?” “I’m serious.” “Then what the hell am I doing here with you?”

Michael B. Jordan is good as the young Creed, son of the former champion. And that boy’s body is in another class altogether. Good lord. And Tessa Thompson plays his love interest. Someone needs to write an amazing character for my girl to sink her teeth into. I’m thinking a misunderstood villain would be nice. I see her in everything and she’s got this amazing presence. And I’m thinking she’s gonna be big. She just hasn’t had the script that she deserves yet. But it’s coming. And then there’s Sly. Believe the hype. He is wonderful in this. This is Stallone in his element. This is the character that made him famous. Like Schwarzenegger returning to Terminator, he returns to Rocky with the best performance of his career. Hands down.

Michael B. Jordan as Creed

“If you drop your hands. You get punched in the face. So keep your damn hands up.”

The writing is so so. Full of clichés. Rocky is a cliché at this point. Rocky means an underdog with a shot at the title. To train like Rocky is when someone uses unconventional methods of training like chasing chickens or beating on sides of beef. So there was not a lot of heavy lifting in the script. The direction is good. It takes a while to get really going but once it is it’s full throttle all the way. Ryan Coogan is proving to be a talented young film-maker. This is a good movie. Creed goes right in there with the other Rocky’s. I would say it was my third favorite Rocky film. Nice work.

Sylvester Stallone and Michael B Jordan

“His third favorite?” “Yeah Rocky.” “Well, how many have I been in?” “I don’t know. A hundred.” “Can we win this one?” “Wrong movie, Rock.” “Oh yeah. That was Rambo.”

And yes. In answer to your question. Yes. The bell rings. The fight ends. And the music kicks in. And yes I cried. The tears streamed down my face. I’m like Pavlov’s dog now except with weeping like a little girl after a boxing match in a movie. It’s awful.

They got me again.

– Mel

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