Directed by Ryan Coogler
Based on characters created by Sylvester Stallone
Screenplay by Ryan Coogler, Aaron Covington
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Tony Bellew
Adonis Johnson (Jordan) is the son of boxing great Apollo Creed, but he’s seeking a chance to make his own name. To further his career, Adonis seeks out the help of Rocky Balboa (Stallone), who soon becomes his mentor and trainer. Now they’re helping each other fight new battles.
Since 1976’s Rocky, movie fans have followed the story of Rocky Balboa. Using those same characters, Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) and Aaron Covington (Get Some) created the story for the seventh film in the series. The movie brings back Sylvester Stallone (First Blood) in the role that launched his career. The movie also stars Michael B. Jordan (That Awkward Moment), Tessa Thompson (Selma), and professional boxer Tony Bellew.
This story fits in nicely with the other movies in the series. The updated approach seems to ease Rocky into a new generation, following in line with the nice work done in Rocky Balboa. The characters are excellently written, and really fit into the world of the Rocky films. The blend of history and present day events help to give the movie a solid connection to the other movies as well. The pace of this film is really great. There isn’t a dull moment in this one, as it balances with boxing world with the lives of the characters outside the ring. The dialogue also works nicely to keep things moving. In the end this is another good Rocky movie that doesn’t lose touch with the roots of the series.
The acting in this movie is fantastic. Sylvester Stallone built the character of Rocky and wears it like a comfortable shoe. His performance is so connected with the rest of the series that it brings this one something special. He also seemed to understand the shift of focus in this one, allowing Michael B. Jordan to shine. Jordan does a great job in this one as well. His performance is intense and emotional. He also creates great chemistry with Stallone. His physical work also makes his role as a boxer very believable. These two are joined by Tessa Thompson and Tony Bellew, along with a ton of other talented actors. Thompson does a nice job connecting with Stallone and Jordan throughout the movie. Bellew also does good work in this one. Despite being a professional boxer without any acting experience, he created a great nemesis for the main character. Overall, the acting in this one is solid and stays true to the series.
This movie looks really great. The fight scenes in the film are intense and filmed to keep the audience in the middle of the action. The continuous shot used during one of the fight scenes is incredible well done. The look of this film stays true to the series, but does add some more modern touches. This is a movie that will connect with a new audience without losing the old fans of the franchise. The music for the film features some new work from composer Ludwig Göransson (Top Five) as well as a number of songs from contemporary artists. Like all the other aspects of the movie, this one really connects the old with the new wonderfully.
This is a great addition to the Rocky franchise. Fans of the other movies won’t be disappointed with this one. The connection to the other films is strong and the story stays true to the characters. This one also has the ability to stand alone, which will help if you’ve missed the other movies. In the end, this is just another Rocky film. Like the others, this pays off wonderfully, and does all the things we expect it to do. I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.