Creed and Ryan Coogler

Over the last few days I’ve had the pleasure of watching the movie Creed (I have it on DVD from Netflix). It’s fantastic. I had high expectations after reading so many great reviews of it, and none of those reviews sufficiently described just how good this movie is. It’s stunning.

Creed is the story of Apollo Creed’s son (Apollo Creed being the nemesis and eventual friend of Rocky Balbao in several Rocky movies). I won’t get into the details, but basically, it’s a boxing movie. It’s quite possibly the best boxing movie.

The movie is good for a number of reasons, with the cast and writing near the top of the list. But the person who elevates the movie to greatness is the director, Ryan Coogler. IMDB lists his birthday as May 23, 1986, so that means this guy is 29 year old. That’s incredible. I honestly think he has the potential to be one of the best directors ever, especially given where he already is at such a young age.

The thing I admire most about Coogler from watching Creed is his willingness to not to cut away. It’s not just long takes–including a stunning 3-minute boxing match shot without a single cut–but also in regular scenes of people talking and interacting. He positions the camera perfectly and leaves it there for 10, 20, 30 seconds…most directors don’t do that.

Also, I was literally on my feet for the final boxing match of the movie. I dare you to sit down while watching that match. It’s much more of a brawl than what we see from real-life professional boxers, but it makes perfect sense in the context of the movie.

Coogler’s next movie is Marvel’s “Black Panther,” and now I’m really excited about it. Coogler shoots action scenes in a way that is completely coherent. I can describe to you what’s happening in those scenes, whereas most action scenes in movies are a jumbled mess.

I highly, highly recommend Creed. If you watch it or if you’ve seen it, I’d love to know what you think.

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