Time and time again the power of the underdog is underestimated, and when ‘Rocky ‘opened in 1976, no one had predicted that it would be that year’s highest grossing film at the box office, going on to win 3 Oscars and turning Sylvester Stallone into a bonafide star overnight.
There’s something in all of us that wants to root for the underdog and although it was clear that by the time we got to ‘Rocky Balboa’ in 2006, 30 years on from the first movie, that Rocky’s time in the ring was coming to a close.
40 years on from the debut, now ‘Creed’ rises to do justice to Rocky, and with the introduction of Adonis Creed (Apollo Creed’s son), the heir to the Rocky throne is now a made man with the help of 69 year old Sylvester Stallone who reprises his role as Rocky Balboa. With Stallone’s legacy certified in gold as he picked up a Golden Globe for the first time this year, the films success in the U.S has already proved that ‘the true legacy is more than a name’.
Teamed up with his Fruitvale station director Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan is born for this role, with a commitment to the ring that takes the legacy of the ‘Rocky’ name – and hands it back to the original champion ‘Creed’. After watching ‘Creed’ be prepared for the temptation to get on Netflix and binge on 1-7 all over again, because it’s when you go back you really relish how ‘Creed’ delivers sensitively with true authenticity of the original Stallone penned storyline. It’s more than just a ‘boxing’ flick, with a pacing that doesn’t designate it to a testosterone fuelled action flick it gets into the grit of the game and will have you flinching with the inflicted pain. Far from a waste of time, ‘Creed’ is guaranteed to run into a new spin-off of sequels for a new generation of fans and if they play this right, maybe hit a new 1-7 bout.
With the U.K now pummelling out world class boxers, it’s little surprise that a British boxer takes the role as the opposing champ. Tony Bellew the Brit Pro-Boxer plays fighter, “Pretty” Ricky Conlan, bringing the storyline to Liverpool and making it as much a British affair, beyond its roots out of Philadelphia. By the time the final bout walk-on brings out ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan to Krept and Konan’s banger ‘Don’t Waste My Time’ booming out – we’re certified in the action. With 12 current British World championship titles held by 11 British boxers – Fury, Degale, Saunders, L Smith, Brook, Crolla, Flanagan, Selby, Quigg, Frampton, Haskins – it’s never been a better time for the Brits to get in the ring.
Music runs through the undercurrent of the film, not only in the soundtrack which features Future, Meek Mill amongst others but also through the role of songstress Bianca played by Tessa Thompson who features as the ‘love interest’ but adds more depth to the aspirations of an underdog. After a premiere run this week in London, ‘Creed’ opens in cinemas nationwide from Friday 15th January.
And just to get your warmed up for a night at the movies, if you’re not yet big on boxing, you might just want to keep an eye on some of Britain’s biggest contenders – both in boxing and music. When Stormzy did the ring walk for British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in his bout with Dillian Whyte it had alot of us wide-eyed watching and saying ‘Shut Up!’