Technically “Rocky VII,” Creed is the first film in the 40-year-old Rocky franchise not to be penned by Sylvester Stallone, but while it is light on the rivalry between the boxers and is in many subtle ways unlike its predecessors, this is a staggering work of art.
The main reason lies with director Ryan Coogler, the 29-year-old wunderkind whose pulverizing début feature, Fruitvale Station, was a runaway success at the 2013 Sundance and Cannes film festivals, where it won top awards at both: the Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award at the former, the special jury prize for début films entitled “Prix de l’avenir” in the prestigious Un certain regard section at the latter. To Creed, Coogler brings visual poetry during the action scenes, and from his two leads — Michael B. Jordan and Stallone himself — he draws forceful performances wholly untainted by the sentiment the story requires almost by definition.
Opening in what appears to be a juvenile detention center in Los Angeles in 1998, the film introduces us to the young Adonis Johnson, who gets into trouble on a regular basis. He is the son of Apollo Creed, who so memorably defeated Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) at the end of the first film and went on to become friends with him until his death in the ring in Rocky IV.
To read the full review, please visit The Prague Post. Creed is currently on wide release in Bulgaria.
(Still of Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan in Creed. Photo by Barry Wetcher – © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.)