Creed (2015)

Is there going to be another Rocky movie after this? I mean, seriously, let the franchise die. I would say that it should be allowed to die with dignity, but that ship sailed long ago. Anyone remember Rocky 5? That giant hunk of turd should have been the last of the franchise. When Rocky Balboa came out in 2006, it was self-evident that Sylvester Stallone should not be taking off his shirt in these movies to pretend to be a fighter who is capable of going up against any current fighter. What Sly has done to his body through years of steroid and human growth hormone abuse, the body does not react well to in the long run.

So, in this movie, Stallone plays (sigh) Rocky Balboa, a beat up old boxer who now runs a restaurant named after his dead wife. He's content to just live his life with a vague celebrity that intrudes only when it's convenient for the story, and he live his life pretty much alone in his kind of crappy apartment happily enough.

Well this story isn't about the old man. Instead, it's about Apollo Creed's bastard child. No, I don't remember anyone talking about this before, and I guess we are simply to assume that this person exists as a link so we can see Apollo as a mere mortal who has faults and failings just like any other person. So, Adonis Creed is born. As a result of his pride and unwillingness to trade on his father's legacy, Adonis decides to go with his mother's last name - Johnson. He also likes to be called "Don," so his incognito name is "Don Johnson." Yup, no way anyone will think that you're someone else.

So, Michael B. Jordan plays this kid who wants to be a big-time champion, despite the fact that he evidently has a very privileged life and has become a.. I don't know, he was an actuarial or something. It didn't seem to fit into his character well, and it made no sense that he would veer be good at it, but they decided to prove that he was smart by giving him an office job where they promoted him for his excellence. All told, Michael does a fine job with what is essentially a reworked template for the young Rocky (and that is not unintentional).

His mother is played by the reliable Phylicia Rashad. Well, it's not really his mother. Phylicia plays Apollo's wife who was married to him at the time that Michael was conceived, but she eventually found out about him (after his own mother had died) and went to adopt him at the juvenile detention center where he was fighting clearly bad guys. She then raised him in a caring, nurturing environment with all of the luxuries life had to offer.

In the final analysis, this isn't the worst movie in the franchise, but that's damning with praise. The biggest issue that the movie has is that the story is hideously unbelievable (with nothing more than half a year for Michael to go from never having been trained to fight to fighting the reigning champion) and - more importantly - there are too many callbacks to the previous films like the stupid, stupid scene where Michael runs down the street and the rowdy youths start driving their dirt bikes and quads with him and around him for no good damn reason.

Direction was okay
Cinematography was good
Story was weak
Acting was good enough
Dialogue was weak

Bottom Line: Stop it! Come up with a new premise! Stop re-releasing or producing sequels or remaking stuff!



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