Throughout cinema, the single take shot has always drawn a sense of admiration from cinephiles, and we’ve seen many directors toying with the technique to truly capture and indeed arrest the audience’s attention. Be it Oldboy‘s corridor fight sequence, the mesmerizing long take in Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men, or even the CG-laden over Earth shot from Gravity, it’s a cinematic feat that can have a marked effect on the viewing experience – and doesn’t Creed director Ryan Coogler know it.
Now that his Rocky offshoot is out in theaters and earning overly positive reviews, the filmmaker has offered a play-by-break breakdown of his own long take. Situated during the boxing match between Gabriel Rosado and Michael Jordan’s pair of light heavyweight brawlers. It’s a enthralling scene in its own right, and an important milemarker on the development of Adonis as a character.
But in order to amplify the feelings experienced in the ring, Coogler filmed the entire opening round in a single take. It’s a feat that required 13 takes in total, though the result is surely worth that added attention to detail, brilliantly capturing the feelings of isolation and indeed desperation as Jordan’s budding world-beater meets his match.
Creed is out now nationwide, and as you can tell from our review, it’s much better than a Rocky spinoff ought to be.
Adonis Johnson (Jordan) never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa.
Once in the City of Brotherly Love, Adonis tracks Rocky (Stallone) down and asks him to be his trainer. Despite his insistence that he is out of the fight game for good, Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo—the fierce rival who became his closest friend. Agreeing to take him on, Rocky trains the young fighter, even as the former champ is battling an opponent more deadly than any he faced in the ring.