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Monday, June 20, 2016

Creed (2015)

There was some disagreement in our household about this movie--I thought it was a fitting installment into the 'Rocky' oeuvre and my spouse was unimpressed.  For once (and while that might be an exaggeration, it isn't much of one), the critics are on my side.
This is a fitting end to the Rocky story (as played by Sylvester Stallone), and could be the beginning of the Adonis Creed story (ably portrayed by Michael Jordan).  For one thing, it mirrors the arc of the original 'Rocky'. There’s the confident boxer from humble origins, his mentor, and the woman who becomes his friend, then his significant other and then his rock of support. There is also the famous boxer who gives our hero the boxing match chance of a lifetime, while at the same time finding out that he is not quite done with boxing himself. Armed with these elements, “Creed” then tweaks them, playing on our expectations before occasionally surprising us. It may be easy to predict where the film takes us, but that doesn’t reduce the power and enormity of the emotional responses it gets from the audience. This is a crowd-pleaser that takes its time building its character-driven universe. There are as many quietly effective moments as there are stand-up-and-cheer moments, and they’re all handled with skill and dexterity on both sides of the camera.

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