What it’s up for: Supporting Actor
I was somewhat skeptical of some of the hype surrounding Michael B. Jordan and this film. I’ve seen the other Rocky movies. I enjoyed them. I thought this one was going to be a sad remake like so many others have been. I’m quite happy to be wrong.
Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) quits his comfortable financial job to pursue his love of boxing. When the local gyms won’t train him, he seeks out the council of his father’s friend and boxing rival, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). Although he tries to make a name for himself on his own, soon people find out that he’s the son of Apollo Creed and it propels him on an accelerated track to prove himself as a boxer.
The movie warms your heart in a surprising way. The screenwriters did a great job with the script, even if the screenplay as a whole was rather standard. It’s well-paced and clever. They don’t box anyone into stereotypes. (No pun intended.) The characters are given full freedom to be unique people. The story is predictable but fun.
Michael B. Jordan was fantastic and probably should have gotten an Oscar nomination for his role. He performs well as an athlete and delivers his lines with humor and feeling. The end of the film truly shows the full scope of his acting ability. As the love child of Apollo and the product of the foster care system, Adonis’ identity isn’t fully formed even as an adult. He wants to find a place to fit and for someone to believe in him. Enter Rocky Balboa.
Sylvester Stallone hits you right in your emotions. (No pun intended.) There are several opportunities throughout the film for Stallone to show off his depth and range. He’s convincing and lovable. He puts so much heart into this role and you really feel it in this film. All his friends and loved ones have moved on without him. He feels alone in the world. Then here comes Adonis to give him some purpose again. It’s adorable and heart-wrenching.
It’s a great film. Simple but effective. The type of thing that gives you hope that not all movies will depress you. It gives you hope for positive outcomes in life. It gives you hope to keep on fighting. (Pun intended.)
Supporting Actor – Possibly…but I have a different favorite for this category