Movie Reviews

With Arms Wide Open (Creed Review)

Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never knew his famous father, boxing champion Apollo Creed, who dies before he was born. Since boxing is in his blood, so he moves to Philadelphia and seeks out Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and asks him to be his trainer. Rocky, seeing much of Apollo in Adonis, agrees to train him, as he has battles of his own. With Rocky’s help, Adonis soon gets a title shot, but whether he has the true heart of a fighter remains to be seen.

You probably thought the Rocky film franchise was over but you thought wrong because here comes another one. They found a way to extend it by putting Apollo Creed’s son in the lead role while relegating Stallone’s Rocky to the background. Luckily there haven’t been too many other boxing movies this year, the only one being Southpaw which I thought was okay, so I guess this is as good of a time as any. I haven’t really seen any of the Rocky films myself but I thought I’d give this one a chance. The premise to this film is that Apollo Creed’s (who conveniently is not in this film) son Adonis Creed/Johnson (Jordan) has boxing in his blood literally and figuratively as he is obsessed with boxing and wants to have a career in boxing (how convenient). He wants to do this on his own without his famous last name so he boxes under the last name Johnson. To start his career of, he moves to Philadelphia to be trained by one of his late father’s biggest rivals Rocky Balboa (Stallone). So the plot of the film is pretty straightforward and is just much him training with Rocky while learning more about himself as a person. They break up these moments by giving Creed a love interest in the form of up and coming singer named Bianca (Tessa Thompson). I suppose they had to break things up and I suppose he should have a love interest but I found this to be the worst part of the film since I found that these parts just weighed down the plot. It’s not that I thought Thompson was bad, it was just that I thought she didn’t have any chemistry with Jordan so I didn’t believe their relationship. I don’t want to give anything away but I did like how they acknowledged Apollo Creed’s (Carl Weathers from Rocky I to IV) disappearance from this film. The best part about this film has to be the training scenes with Creed and Rocky. It’s just the perfect combination of old school and new school. The training scenes were exciting and what emphasized this was the great chemistry between Jordan and Stallone. This just made their father-son relationship even more believable. An important event later on in the film also helped with that. I thought they were both amazing in this but I was more surprised by Stallone because I’ve never seen him look so vulnerable. I also thought the cinematography of the film as well as the soundtrack captured Philadelphia real well and was beautiful to watch. The boxing itself I found was well done and was well shot including the choreography and all of the slow motion moments. Overall, I can’t quite compare this to other films in the Rocky franchise (although I don’t know why it’s considered part of the Rocky franchise) but this is a great boxing/sports movie.

Score: 8.5/10

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