This recent year’s favorite Micheal B. Jordan is chosen to lead a spin-off because Sylvester Stallone is too old and the Rocky franchise has been squeezed dry.
Jordan is one of the top talents in his generation so it’s no surprise that he did well as a kid with daddy issues and a chip on his shoulder. Sylvester Stallone stretches some acting muscles and delivers a great performance. Both characters sell their roles well and it’s one of the reasons why Creed manages to be engaging despite its predictable plot.
The other reason is deft camerawork inside the ring. Creed is no Raging Bull but it still has immersive dynamic visuals, especially in the third act when the out-of-a-dream fight finally happens. There’s a slow-motion shot that is riveting and beautiful at the same time. The introduction of the fighters itself is great in putting you in Adonis Johnson’s perspective.
Sadly though, this movie is too preoccupied with digging through the Rocky archives rather than creating a compelling platform for what will inevitably be the Creed franchise. Creed is a typical chosen one burdened by the legacy of his father.
The heart of the franchise – a genuine drama about a loser-turned-hero – is replaced for a crowdpleaser about embracing your own legacy, but Creed still manages to be a serviceable boxing flick.
Creed is an uninspired spin-off of Rocky but it's serviceable enough as an entertaining boxing flick thanks to great performances and immersive action.