i like the rocky films, so sue me. this one passes the torch onto michael b. jordan and he does a pretty good job with it. there are tips of the hat to the other rocky films which is nice for the fans of the series. the only one that didn’t really work for me is when creed is running through the neighborhood and he gathers the local kids to follow him during his run. this same scene appears in the first rocky film as the town rallies around the underdog during his training. in this one they do the same thing, but they’re popping wheelies and what not on their motorcycles and atvs (obviously the director grew up in oakland as you see this kind of thing all the time here. same director as fruitvale station, by the way). what falls flat is when the camera is running circles around creed as he pumps himself up and yells at the sky. it just came off as cheesy for some reason; mostly i don’t think jordan pulled it off.
the music is pretty good, but i was disappointed that the rocky theme wasn’t used. then, in the final fight the director pulls it out of his back pocket and final unleashes it. good move to save it like that. it’s one of the best themes in film history so i’m reluctant to say it could be overused, but saving it like that was smooth.
my ranking probably goes like this: rocky, rocky 2, rocky balboa (6), creed (7), rocky 3, rocky 4, rocky 5. more than anything, this film made me want to make a montage of all the great scenes from the previous films. the early morning training in rocky 1, adrian telling rocky to win from her hospital bed in rocky 2, the speech rocky gives to his son in rocky 6….some great stuff that really gets to the core of what it takes to be a great competitor and strong person overall.Watched in theater