Black Panther director Ryan Coogler made a terrific movie about boxing two years ago with one of the actors from the Marvel movie, Michael B Jordan.
The sequels to Oscar winner Rocky were many, but none could equal the origin story’s narrative style, acting, and cinematography. But everything changed when Creed hit the big screen. It brought back the style, the story, and the emotions. Also, exquisite cinematography.
The boxing matches were shot with great skill, the camera danced when the actors danced, and it lingered like a caress when the characters emoted. Sylvester Stallone, Michael B Jordan, and Tessa Thompson delivered.
How many times have you heard of an action movie that has been described as beautiful? Not many is my guess. But the shots that director Ryan Coogler and cinematographer Maryse Alberti collaborated to produce are breathtaking. When Michael B Jordan’s character Adonis Creed is in the ring, he shines, and so does Jordan.
There’s not much in the way of spoilers here. Creed follows the story of Adonis Creed aka Donnie Johnson who wants to be a professional boxer. Enter Rocky. He trains Adonis. Ribs damaged, eyes swollen, spirits broken. And towards the end, we have a complete film in itself, which apart from being a stunning throwback to Rocky, is wonderfully whole. Not a puncture found, no gaps, so beautifully sewn together.
There are many things at play here; the game, the father-son equation, race, a legacy. Everything blends in the most natural, authentic way possible, much like life. Adonis and Rocky teach each other. The former teaches the latter about love and about giving a damn (for a lack of a better word). While Sly’s character teaches Adonis about how to fight. With grace, passion, and agility.
It is like Jordan’s youth and energy silently challenged Stallone to up his game, and boy did he! So much so that he won his first Golden Globe for Creed. Stallone’s Rocky shuffles, burdened by the weight of the personal and professional past. Creed blends the best of both the worlds with ease; the glory and charm of the old, and energy and passion of the young. Maybe this is also one of the reasons why Creed appeals to both the young and the old.
Jordan, who will next be seen as the evil Erick Killmonger in Black Panther, shares a trust and friendship with the director that helps him move the boundaries further. Coogler gets Jordan, as is clear in the statement he had given to Indianexpress.com recently, “Usually, your strengths and weaknesses are related. Mike (Michael B Jordan) cares a lot, he wants to be great. So sometimes, he can overwork himself or overextend himself. He wants to be the best at everything. Usually what makes him good can also hurt him.”
Maybe it is also a good time to have a go at the Jordan and Coogler film as Stallone has announced that Creed 2 is on its way. However, Coogler will not be directing this time, so let’s hope for the best.