Creed is the story of a young boxer named Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), son of the late boxing world champion, Apollo Creed. He never met his father, but as his son, he had to carry on the legacy. Except he didn't want to, as evident by his change of last name. He wanted to make it into the world of boxing on his own, not relying on the name to get him overnight success, and to help do that he gets the help of an elderly Rocky, who is still working away at a restaurant. Rocky, reluctant at first, takes Adonis under his wing because he sees his potential to be greater than his father, and that's what this film is really all about. It's about Adonis attempting to rise to fame with the help of Rocky, and I loved it.
Taking the lead role is Michael B. Jordan, whose performance here is doing a great job at making us forget all about the abomination that was Fantastic Four. His performance is layered and has an emotional core. Jordan does a great job at employing realism into his character, and really bringing to life the connections he has with fellow cast members. The dynamic between Adonis and Rocky plays a pivotal role into this story, as well as Adonis' connections to his late father, and Jordan really sells it. You can feel everything, the impact hitting hard, and his performance even becomes a little tear jerking at times.
What Ryan Coogler really nails in this movie is the cinematography. He uses a lot of long, tracking shots, first evident by the opening scene featuring a young Adonis. It's a long, moving take that utilises plenty of different angles while being able to clearly show plenty of on-screen action. There's also a fight about halfway through that's done all in the one shot and it's absolutely absorbing. The camera swings all around the ring, as well as to the spectators, including the cheering Rocky. For me, it's the best moment in this entire film. But it's not just the long takes that are great, either. Every shot in this film is just... well.... delicious, so to speak.
Creed is two hours and fifteen minutes long, but trust me when I say it hardly feels like an hour and a half. There's so much going on in Creed, but at the same time so little, and I love it for doing that. The same can be said about the first Rocky, as well. Both those films are merely about a boxer trying to make a name for himself and both films will go down as classics. Yes, even you, Creed. We've had plenty of boxing movies over the last few years, but none have been nearly as brilliant as Creed. It wants to stand on its own? It can stand on its own. It really is one of the best films so far this year and I'm sure it'll be on plenty of people's top 10 lists come December and January, including mine.