Sunday, October 23, 2016


The Gist: Apollo Creed's illegitimate son Adonis feels the pull of fighting in the ring and seeks out Apollo's longtime foe, Rocky Balboa as a trainer. While at first reticent, Balboa agrees to train the unproven boxer for a fight against the current world champion. Adonis, however, has a lot of baggage wearing him down.

Nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, Sylvester Stallone reprises the role that made him famous almost 40 years ago and turns in a very good performance.

Stallone was actually considered the favorite to win at this year's ceremony, but was bested in an upset by Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies. I always disapprove of awards given out for sentimental reasons (Stallone has never won and was nominated here for the same role he originated 39 years ago and for which he had gotten his first nomination -- two actually, the second for writing Rocky's original script).

Someone inevitably loses out despite a better performance because an actor is getting old or has worked in the industry for decades and has never been recognized. Rylance won out, and deservedly I think. Stallone was good, but Rylance's performance was more refined.

Michael B. Jordan is very well cast as the angry young boxer confronting very old ghosts. Tessa Thompson is perfectly cast as the love interest.

The Bottom Line: The latest entry in the Rocky Balboa canon, Creed is a nicely made movie whose only real flaw is to be a bit too predictable. Good acting and plenty of nostalgia, however, save it from mediocrity.

Grade: 7

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