Monday Morning Critic -Sylvester Stallone, Creed And The Guardianship of the Rocky Mythos

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I make no qualms about Rocky being one of my favorite films of all time. People love to crap all over it, mainly because it was the winner in one of the best Oscar fields ever. I’ve written about it in length before, which you can read here, about my love for the film and it’s poignant because this week the first Rocky sequel to not focus solely around the titular character comes out over Thanksgiving weekend.

Creed is about Apollo Creed’s son (Michael B Jordan) as he becomes a boxer. It’s getting stellar reviews so far and Stallone is being mentioned as a possible Oscar candidate for the film. It would be interesting to see Stallone get another nomination for playing Balboa, his first time taking place in another legendary field, as he’d join an elite field in that regard. Bing Crosby, Al Pacino, Paul Newman and Peter O’Toole all have that distinction and the star of Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot winding up being in that fairly distinguished field would be something else.

The fact that Stallone is coming back after what seemed like a proper exit in Rocky Balboa is interesting because this will mark the first film that Stallone hasn’t either wrote or directed in the franchise. He’s just an actor this time around, playing his signature role of course, but creatively this isn’t Stallone telling another story about Rocky. This is Ryan Coogler’s story, better or worse, as Stallone gave input on the script but doesn’t have any writing credits given. That Stallone is merely a consultant, for lack of a better word, as opposed to the primary writer on the screenplay tells you something substantial about the film without having to see it.

This is Sylvester Stallone handing off the guardianship of the Rocky mythos.

It’s kind of substantial because Stallone’s franchises are always dominated by him. The Expendables and Rambo are all written by him, as well as Rocky, and Stallone the writer has been fairly prolific. He doesn’t write a singular film and pass off franchise duties to someone else creatively; he’s still the creative force behind his franchises. It’s what makes his lack of significant creative involvement in Creed that much more interesting.

Stallone may have been consulted on the screenplay but he’s not getting a credit for any of it. So either he did considerable work and didn’t want the credit … or he gave his input ala George Lucas for Star Wars: The Force Awakens but ultimately pen to paper didn’t have his involvement. Either way its interesting because this represents a sort of passing of the torch in some manner.

Stallone handing off the reigns to a new direction for a franchise is something we haven’t seen and makes the film that much more of a curiosity. Handing off the reigns is something Stallone doesn’t do. The fact that he is makes this that much more interesting.

What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 tall boys of Red Fox and community college co-eds with low standards at the Fox and Hound

Creed – Apollo Creed’s kid gets Rocky Balboa to train him to be a boxing champion.

See it – I’m curious to see what someone besides Stallone does with the Rocky mythos

The Good Dinosaur – Dinosaurs and mankind live together. Shenanigans ensue.

Skip it – Dinosaur films by and large tend to be terrible and I can’t imagine even with the Pixar backing that this is any good.

Victor Frankenstein – Harry Potter and the guy from Wanted raise the dead.

Skip it – There has never been a clamoring to see “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” from Igor’s perspective.

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @ScottSawitz .

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