Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Gerald Mallison on the two best in the Rocky Series (Rocky 1 and Creed)

Gerald Mallison

Rocky is seen by many as the second most critically acclaimed boxing movie of all time (first being Raging Bull). The story of Rocky is modeled after the story of Chuck Wepner, a economically fragile amatuer boxer who works for the mafia.  Luckily, the champion, Apollo Creed needed an opponent that was an “assured victory” for the bicentennial and chooses Rocky as an “easy win”.  For Rocky though, this is the opportunity of a lifetime for him and trains (with the help of his trainer Mickey) to become a legitimate contender for the champions title. This plot alone makes Rocky an all time classic sports movie, but I believe that a newer reincarnation has surpassed the original that came before.  Creed directed by Ryan Coogler is about the story of Apollo Creed’s son trying to become his own man in the world of professional boxing.  Eventually after seeing the gym his dad worked in turn him down, he goes to the one man his father considered his best friend and longtime rival Rocky Balboa.  He then gets the biggest shot of his boxing career and is offered a shot at the heavyweight championship, as long as he changes his last name to Creed to show his heritage to his father.  In many ways, the movies are similar and try to portray the life of a fighter being changed by one ground breaking opportunity.  Although I think Creed does a better job in creating a more realistic atmosphere and fighting scenes than its predecessor provided.  For example, Creed presents the story as less of a hollywood movie and more of a sports documentary, to the point where they even have Showtime (a legit and famous boxing organization) to support and format the majority of the movie.  Even the romance between Adonis and Bianca (Tessa Thompson), seemed more well built and developed than Rocky and Adrian's relationship.  In conclusion, when you look at both of these film masterpieces of the story about a underdog looking for his big break, I feel one does have a superior edge and makes for a much better cinematic experience.  So grab your popcorn and adjust your hearing aid, because Creed and Rocky both deserve to be rewatched.

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