I kind of wish I had placed Creed higher on my Top 10 of 2015. What a fantastic experience at the movies. There’s not a single thing about this movie that doesn’t work*. The performances, the script, the direction, the music – it’s all just so perfectly tuned to make for a powerful cinematic experience.
But what stood out the most to me on re-watch was Stallone. I went from thinking “Maybe he deserves a ‘career Oscar’ this year, in light of this movie,” to “He absolutely deserves an Oscar this year, specifically for this performance.” He is so good in Creed. And it’s not just because he’s good at sliding back into the role of Rocky. It’s because he speaks to Adonis like a person. Every scene that could be reduced to typical sports movie motivational speeches where someone is shouting platitudes that are somehow meant to relate sports to life is instead delivered with a calm patience that only comes from the wisdom of being near the end of one’s journey. Or perhaps the discovery that one’s journey isn’t yet complete. These scenes work so well and really do make Adonis’ journey feel necessary; for perhaps the first time in a sports movie I understood why this fight would help Adonis achieve something personally. And that’s all thanks to Stallone’s wonderful performance.
I used to want my own Terminator. Creed has convinced me I should’ve been wishing for my own Unc all along.
*I do sort of have a problem with Rocky essentially kidnapping Bianca to give Creed motivation. I know this is a gross exaggeration of what happens in that scene, but Bianca was such a great, strong female character in this machismo universe, it was disappointing to see her (kind of) stripped of her agency.
Creed scored: ★★★★☆