Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Creed - The scoop and digest

Conceived and directed by whippersnapper Ryan Coogler, this is Rocky for the new generation.

Sylvester Stallone - Rocky
Michael B. Jordan - Adonis Johnson
Tessa Thompson - Bianca
Tony Bellew - "Pretty" Ricky Conlan

In 1998, Apollo's widow Mary Anne visits her husband's illegitimate son Adonis in 'juvy'.

Seventeen years later and going under his mother's name Johnson, Donnie heads to Philadelphia hoping to hook up with its favourite son.

At Rocky's restaurant Adrian's, our man ain't interested in becoming anybody's manager.

Finding Donnie training at refurbished Mighty Mick's, Rocky has a change of heart.

He's taken to Front Street Gym and endures regime of chicken chasing, shadow boxing, running and skipping.

Donnie meets upcoming singer/songwriter Bianca and they get very friendly at Rocky's flat.

At some point, Rocky pays his respects to Adrian and also Paulie, (who died in 2012).

We know Taila Shire's character succumbed to cancer a few years prior to Rocky Balboa (hence naming eatery in her honour), and I guess Burt Young wasn't interested in reprising role.

Now carrying the nickname "Hollywood", Donnie takes on Leo "The Lion" Sporino.

Camera provides evidence of one continuous steadicam take.

Great stuff, but six minutes is nothing compared to The Silent House...

Mentor becomes visibly unwell and hospital biopsy reveals he's contracted non-Hodgkins, a form of cancer.

Although Rocky's happy to wait for the inevitable, Donnie persuades him to undergo treatment.

Before grey bar hotel doors slam shut for possessing firearm, light heavyweight Liverpudlian champion Ricky Conlan chooses Donnie as final opponent.

Ahead of HBO fight staged at Goodison Park, Donnie finds trunks left by Mary Anne, identical in principle to Apollo's stars and stripes, later worn by Rocky in third and fourth.

Don't forget, Stallone is a huge Everton fan.

"Let's get ready to rumble!"

For fuck's sake, does Michael Buffer really need the money?

Massive underdog gives as good as he gets but ultimately loses to a split decision.

Yes, climatic spectacle basically models itself on 1976 original, and even Rocky Balboa.

Sigh.

Unnecessary heartfelt speech from Donnie follows with crowd chanting Creed's name.

Conlan won the fight, but Adonis Creed wins the night.

Back in Philly, cinematic bell clangs after frail trainer and pupil climb the Rocky Steps.

Analysis

Potential disaster is impressively averted but not without problems.

Jordan plays title role with gusto and Stallone delivers a knockout performance without throwing a single punch.

Fights are realistic and well choreographed, but lack genuine excitement.

While I'll never be able to comment on current European cruiserweight champion Bellew's actual personality, let's hope it's more likeable than asshole portrayed on screen.

Maybe that was the idea?

Less jealously and betrayal, plot recycles Rocky V.

Yo Adrian, check this out, yer' know:

Donnie is knocked down in the eleventh and apparently 'beaten'.  Negative flashbacks follow, but seeing Apollo drags ass up from canvas.

Bill Conti's iconic theme plays throughout the final round.

In 1990:

Tommy Gunn floors Rocky during ridiculous street fight.  Blasts from the past include Mickey's voice, prompting him to continue for 'one more round'.

Cue Bill Conti theme (albeit more briefly).

Unbelievable.

References

Aside from training montages and 'women weaken legs'...

LeRoy Neiman's painting (or interpretation) of Rocky III poster is displayed inside Mighty Mick's.

Message on Donnie's shirt "Why do I wanna fight? Because I can't sing and dance" is from Rocky and Adrian's first date on ice.

Cuff or Link is seen while Donnie and Bianca are having sex.

Did other reptile pass on?

Following move to Vancouver, Rocky's son Robert is briefly mentioned.

Apollo won the 'third' fight at the end of Rocky III.

Rocky still bounces trademark squash ball, a pastime only entertained in original and sequel.

Blasphemously, Donnie doesn't pray in his corner.

Come on, that's mandatory.

Glaring goofs

Goodsion Park's capacity is just under 40,000, but 100,000 rise to their feet when local lad enters.

Okay, now for the best bit.

Flashback sequence contains Apollo from 1976 original.

This is IMPOSSIBLE, because Donnie only relived Rocky II fight footage.

Ha ha ha!

Put that in your movie mistake pipe and smoke it.

In memory of Robert Chartoff

1933 - 2015

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