Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The First "Creed" Trailer Proves There's Still Some Steam in the "Rocky" Franchise

Michael B. Jordan
Two years ago, director Ryan Coogler released the rather impressive debut film Fruitvale Station. It's day in the life depiction of a man just trying to do right may have been simple, but packed a punch thanks to its dramatic third act. With racially charged films starting to crop up everywhere, it definitely has built its own little and deserved following. With his first film since then, he looks to update the Rocky franchise not by giving Sylvester Stallone another go in the ring, but to focus on the son of his original opponent in Creed. The first trailer shows that it may be better than the novelty premise will have you believe.

It makes sense why Rocky was such a success and would win Best Picture on top of multiple sequels. It is the story of an underdog who could go to any length to succeed. Since boxing seems to be one of the most central sports about the subject, it makes sense why many grabbed onto the franchise. With the most recent film being Rocky Balboa quite some time ago, it seems rather odd to have the franchise come back now. Even more interesting is that this may be the first film to not focus on Stallone's titular Rocky. It isn't entirely clear based on the first trailer, but it does seem like Coogler has something in stock with Michael B. Jordan.

One of the reasons that Fruitvale Station worked was because of Jordan's empathetic performance. He was able to break stereotypes while also proving that he was a conflicted figure. He may not have had the biggest breakout since the film, but with this summer's Fantastic 4, he will at least be around. While I cannot claim to be a major fan of this boxing story, I do think that there's something to focusing on a different plot than Stallone being yet again the underdog. By shifting the focus to a major character from his past, it may uncover some new ground.

Check out the trailer:

Looks pretty good. Here's the plot description according to IMDb:
The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Creed, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.
Speaking as the Rocky franchise hasn't fared well at the Oscars, I am not placing a lot of hope of this being the necessary comeback to the glory days. However, I can hope that Coogler brings something fresh and exciting to the franchise. While the trailer has me concerned for how much of the story will inevitably shift over to Rocky territory, it is at least a well put together trailer. With Southpaw also scheduled for release this year, it is looking like a strong year for boxing movies. While there hasn't been a push for acting fields with Creed yet, it will be interesting to see which one ends up being better.

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