One of the most surprising films of this year was Ryan Coolger’s Creed. After all, aren’t we a little sick of our favourite movies getting yet another exhausting adaptation on the big screen?
Especially Rocky because we’ve been knocked out by the franchise so excessively, we’re almost like the shuffling has-been boxer himself!
So when it was announced that Ryan Coolger was doing yet another movie revolving around silky shorts and red padded fists (oo-er,) it was another round of frustration as we paced the ring, trying to score a win.
But for those who had watched Fruitvale Station, however, and had seen Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan’s work, faith that this was going to be an intricate, emotional, and powerful piece of cinema peeled itself out from the floor and threw a few punches for good measure. (By the way. Fruitvale Station on Netflix. I’d watch it repeatedly).
The end result was a brand new sporting drama that honoured the past and carved something new for future fans. Creed even earned an Oscar nomination and many furious people felt it should’ve received more (myself included.)
So to celebrate the home entertainment release of Creed, here’s five of our favourite moments from the boxing drama!
Warning: There will be spoilers here.
Tessa Thompson’s singing.
Coming from Dear White People and Selma, Tessa Thompson is a young actress who has already accomplished acting finesse and surely has a stellar career ahead of her. As Bianca, and in the hands of another director, her character could’ve easily been a side-lined girlfriend who cries all the time. Instead, Thompson becomes her own character – a partially deaf singer who is sings, performs, and writes as much as she can before her hearing envitably goes. And when you first see her perform, it’s transfixing – a haunting redolent performance that we all have the same face as Adonis:
Rocky’s Cancer Montage
One of the biggest shocks of Creed was the infliction of Rocky. The shuffling, gurning boxer who was teaching Adonis the ropes was diagnosed with cancer but after seeing Adrian succumb to the disease, he decides to throw in the towel and except his fate.
No. Seriously. Anyway, after a pep talk with Adonis, Rocky decides to do what he does best and fight. In a fantastically emotional montage, the pair decide to kick cancer in the arse and it’s an endearing part of the film!
It wouldn’t be a Rocky movie if it didn’t have the epitomes run in it. Made famous by the first film in which Rocky (wonderfully homaged at the end of this film, by the way,) Creed does its own style power jog as Adonis marches through the rundown streets of Philadelphia, accompanied by cheering children on bikes. Set to the impressive score and filled with such amazing hope, determination, and courage, you couldn’t help but be filled with glorious feelings that toppled out of your eyes.
What works so well for Rocky, the first film, is that he doesn’t win. The same can be said for Creed as he faces off his biggest challenge yet – the criminal and powerful fighter “Pretty” Ricky Conlan. Spoiler alert: He doesn’t win but he does earn the respect of the boxing community after giving it his all and proving himself, rising from an amateur fighter into a professional one. The scene is very indicative of Coogler’s direction, splicing gripping energy and utmost emotion.
Michael B. Jordan
Everything that Michael B. Jordan touches turns to gold. And don’t worry, we’ve completely ignored Fantastic Four and That Awkward Moment because after watching those turd blossom features, we obliterated our memories with alcoholic beverages. Anyway, regardless of the bad movies, Jordan is always – well – fantastic in them and here as Adonis, he manages to be stellar. The young performer tackles the emotional weight, the physical heft, and the rambunctious nature of his titular character with such ease that his charm effervesces. Simply amazing, Jordan should’ve been nominated for an award here.
Creed is available on Blu-ray™, DVD and Limited Edition Steelbook from May 16th.