Not coming from me, this is based off early reception that Variety has gathered.
In what could be a possible reflection of Sylvester Stallone’s real life, Stallone has spent much of his career, like Rocky, trying to overcome all the odds as an actor. Initially starting out with “Rocky” and “Rambo” in 1976 and 1982, respectively that brought him much success, he has struggled since then to regain any form of credibility as an actor that he had at the beginning with legendary film critic Roger Ebert even calling him, at the time of “First Blood”, a young Marlon Brando.
However, due to his limitations expressively (Including the lower left side of his face being paralyzed due to complications during his birth), Stallone was unable to grab attention in any other film but the ones he started and, as time went on, he continued to rely on more for success. Yes he proved his ability from time to time, such as in the 1997 crime drama “Cop Land”, but by that time he was cemented as nothing more than an action icon.
As of now, four “Rambo” films have been made (With an expected fifth one coming to conclude the story) and six “Rocky” films. However, in a possible stunning upset, it is with the upcoming “Rocky” spin-off “Creed” that Stallone could in fact use his original character to do the impossible one more time…win an Oscar.
It sounds unlikely, given his film history, but early reviews are calling his performance as Rocky Balboa more deep and subtextual than ever before. Perhaps it was simply that Stallone needed a good director such as up and comer Ryan Coogler to point him in the right direction. This is the first “Rocky” installment he has neither written nor directed. It seems that Coogler’s outside perspective allowed Stallone to get a better feel for his own character and create the underdog in a new light.
In some weird way, it’s appropriate Stallone might win Best Supporting Actor as Rocky. Rocky’s influence on society has always been his everyman appeal. The guy in the corner as opposed to in the ring. With rumor, and as shown in the trailer, Stallone has taken his character to the darkest and most human stage he ever could. In what looks like a fight for his own life, Stallone approaches Rocky with a new sense of mortality and vulnerability that he hasn’t had since the first two. Because, after his two-time clash with rival Apollo Creed (Played by Carl Weathers) in “Rocky” and “Rocky II”, it seemed it was more about wild training sequences and him defeating ever-more-superior opponents than character development.
While any fan of the character’s perseverance can watch all six in a day and not get tired, from a larger and wider view it became repetitive. And now, Stallone could see his real life be just like Rocky. He comes full circle, back to the Oscars for the first time since he was nominated for the original in 1976, and, maybe, leave this time a champion.
The full circle of of “Rocky” is definitely present as “Creed” will open in theaters next week, November 25, 2015 (Thanksgiving). This date is important because that was the date of the opening scene of the original “Rocky”. Let’s be honest, Stallone called this nine years ago when he did “Rocky Balboa”. He summed up his own struggles and the struggles of anyone who fights throughout their life.