Creed may be the best movie I've seen in seven years. And yes, that counts Marvel movies, all the Hunger Games movies... point being, I don't see a lot of "regular" films in the theater. Hell, I don't see a lot of movies or television period anymore unless it's Muppets, Sesame Street, or Frozen. But I digress.
With this being a spin-off of the Rocky series, one of the best parts of the film is how accessible it is if this is your first Rocky film. While I have seen all 6 previous films, Ryan Coogler does a good job acknowledging the events that came before without bogging everything in continuity.
Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone are both wonderful as Jordan brings fire to the role of Creed’s son without the over the top bravado of his father (Carl Weathers in Rocky I, II, III & IV). Rocky is Rocky in the most wonderful way for me, and that’s in his interactions with Creed and as well as how he perceives life in general. The Creed we meet at the beginning of the film is determined to be a professional boxer and he wants to do it on his own, while Rocky is content to live out the rest of his days running his restaurant Adrian’s in the city he loves. The journey both men take throughout the film finds each of them better off than we met them, but nothing feels clichéd along the way.
I have to tell the truth though… Creed made me turn into that loud person in the theater and I don’t really care. There were probably about 10 of us in the theater and during Donnie’s first fight, the cinematography had me so focused that I felt like I was in the fight. I Tiger Woods fist pumped after that fight. I clapped during big moments in the final fight. I whispered at the screen during a crucial sequence (Thomas was kind enough to tell me that Donnie couldn’t hear me). I was hooked from about 20 minutes in because I leaned over to Anthony and told him, “I love this movie.” And I wasn’t the only one: there was at least two other moviegoers who were quite audible during the film’s final scenes.
While I often feel like I could sit in the theater again following a film I liked (normally a Marvel movie), I really wanted to watch Creed again after it finished and the runtime had a lot to do with that. At a slim 2 hours and 13 minutes, there are no scenes that are time fillers, as Coogler is always advancing the plot somehow. Even during comic book blockbusters I’ve been dying to see, I either sneak off to the bathroom during the film or try to take my mind off going for the last 30 minutes. Leaving didn’t cross my mind once and is just another credit to the editing of Creed in general.
This is a special film. Award deserving special. I saw that it’s already claimed at least 4 awards of the 8 it has been nominated for, so don’t be surprised if you see Creed’s name in the Golden Globes or Academy Award nominations in the next few months. This film is as special as Rocky was back in 1976; it would be wonderful for it to win some major awards for the original’s 40th anniversary.
So don’t take this MVP Award with a grain of salt; go see Creed, then go tell everyone else to see Creed, and then support Creed (the proper ways) when it hits the shelves. And start hoping that any sequels don’t mess up your love for this film in the future; I’m already worrying enough for all of us.