Creed Blu-ray Review
There’s a new trend in Hollywood that hit new heights in 2015 and it revolves around the reboot/sequel idea. It’s where a franchise reaches back to its roots to bring an audience in, but it really focuses on establishing new characters to propel the franchise forward. In fact, three of the best films of the year fall into this new genre, starting with MAD MAX: FURY ROAD over the summer, then CREED in the fall and of course, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS over Christmas. All three of these films are great, but CREED is easily the most surprising success of the bunch.
Adonis Johnson is the bastard son of Apollo Creed, but is taken in by Apollo’s widow after his mother dies. We get an opening scene with a young, troubled Adonis fighting his way through juvenile detention and with that powerful opening scene, the audience knows that CREED is going to stand on its own and not rely on sentimentality. We flash forward to present day where a grown up Adonis quits his job to fulfill his dream of becoming a boxer. Unable to find a trainer in Los Angeles, Adonis moves to Philadelphia to enlist the help of his father’s best friend, Rocky Balboa. Rocky has quit the boxing life, but he sees something in Adonis and reluctantly agrees to train him.
In many ways, CREED is a remake of the original ROCKY; an unproven, yet charming young fighter is set up for the fight of his life against the world champion based solely on the marketing hype the champion thinks he can generate on the young kid. But CREED is so much more than a remake or reboot or sequel; it’s a really good film that excels on just about every level. I enjoyed FRUITVALE STATION, but there wasn’t much there to make me think director Ryan Coogler was ready for something like CREED. But he took an existing franchise, paid homage to the original and crafted something inspiring and wonderful on his own. Coogler was recently given the reigns to Marvel’s Black Panther franchise and if CREED is any indication, Marvel found themselves an incredible director.
Michael B. Jordan dominates as Adonis Creed. He’s confident but not cocky, he’s tough but not a bully and he’s vulnerable without being whiney. He doesn’t launch into an explanation on why he’s angry or lost, but we can see it in his eyes. Stallone has received a lot of credit for his performance, but the film is carried by Jordan. That said, Stallone was hitting on all cylinders here, portraying more emotion than what we’ve seen in a Rocky film in a long time. There’s a scene when Adonis and Rocky have an exchange in a jail cell and it’s such a heartbreaking, yet beautiful scene that it it’s hard not to get emotional. That scene wouldn’t have been possible without the two great performances and of course the great direction from Ryan Coogler.
CREED surprised me, in part because I thought the Rocky franchise was dead in the 80’s and in part because I didn’t want another boxing film after suffering through SOUTHPAW earlier in the year. But CREED succeeded where other boxing films have failed before it and Warner Bros. easily has another hit franchise on their hands.
Video: Creed looks fantastic on Blu-ray
Audio: The audio was fine.
Deleted Scenes (19:35): 11 scenes total, none of which make much of a difference.
Know the Past, Own the Future (14:50): The cast and crew talk about Rocky’s legacy and the passing of the torch to Adonis.
Becoming Adonis (5:45): It took a year for Jordan to look like he does in the film and this featurette shows what he went through to get there.