Creed III

If you think Creed III, the continuation of the Rocky legacy, will deliver something new, you will be disappointed. First-time director Michael B. Jordan knows that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. He gives us a film that ticks all the boxes and follows all the beats we have become familiar with since the first Rocky film in 1976. He has tried to give us a different feel to the fight sequence and has provided a rising star with another opportunity to shine, so we can witness the most exciting actor appearing on screen in years.

Adonis Creed has hung up his boxing belts and gone into retirement. He now part owns a gym, has a lavish home with his music producer wife, Bianca, and their daughter, Amara, and wants his mother to move in with them after she suffered a stroke. Life seems to be perfect until his past catches up with him in the form of Damian Anderson. A former friend from his childhood, Anderson has been in prison for years with one thought: to become the world’s heavyweight champion. When fate throws its hand, the opportunity arrives, and it’s about to cause Creed’s world to crumble around him.

Jordan and his team of writers know how this all works. The Rocky/Creed films are not just boxing movies. They are about human drama, developing characters and relationships, and dealing with issues. Creed III is no different. Like the other movies, this has more dramatic scenes outside the ring than within. So we have the perfect family unit. Creed lives a life of luxury in a home that is a designer’s dream. Bianca has moved away from performing due to her hearing issues and has become a producer with a studio in their home. They are trying to do what is suitable for their deaf daughter, even though she is her father’s daughter and deals with a bully like he would an opponent.

Then comes Damian, a man with a massive chip on his shoulders. He was imprisoned as an amateur fighter, so he dreamed of raising the heavyweight belt above his head. Looked upon as too old and feeling that Creed, who he believes owes him, isn’t going to help, he makes his own fate, and the chance to step into a professional ring is handed to him. From this point on, the tone shifts, and we get a tale of redemption, of dealing with the past.

Jordan is smart enough to give what the fans want. We get the tears and heartbreak. We get the training montage with the bombastic music. We get exciting fight scenes and a finale that could go either way. We get, well, Rocky! The only thing we don’t get is Rocky himself. Sylvester Stallone, who starred in the previous Creed films, only appears in the credits as a producer after falling out with the production team and walking away. Yet the legacy seems to have coped without him, although it would have been nice to maybe have been given some closure on the character.

As for the fight scenes, they are up to par with Jordan putting us right into the action and giving us added grunts and groans that wouldn’t look out of place in a martial arts movie. He does try to deliver something unique in the final fight, which may or may not work, depending on how you interpret it. I thought it was a brave attempt at taking the stock, cliched fight into unchartered territory and, for me, it was close to being successful.

The performances, as you would expect, were on par. Jordan, as Creed, has become the character, just as Stallone became Rocky. Gone is the arrogance that Creed had in his younger days. He has become an older, more level-headed man who thinks he is in control. Like Jordan, his wife, Tessa Thompson, has grown into the role and kudos for bringing positivity within the deaf community. The ace in the pack, however, is Jonathan Majors. As Damian, he commands each scene he is in. We know he has a future as Kang in the Marvel movies, but this performance is intense, brimming with energy and attitude. Damian is not a caricature but a full-blooded creation that you don’t know whether to cheer or boo. If he continues on this route, Majors will win an Oscar in the future. He is a star already. I won’t talk about the physique.

Creed III offers nothing new, but then we never expected it to. It’s solid entertainment with a solid cast, and a new director who I hope will go on to explore this new career move. As for the series, I have no idea where it can go next, so maybe it’s time to hang up the gloves.

4 out of 5

Director: Michael B. Jordan

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors, Wood Harris, Phylicia Rashad, Mila Davis-Kent, Florian Munteanu

Written by: (also story) Keenan Coogler, Zach Baylin and (story) Ryan Coogler.

Running Time: 116 mins

Cert: 12A

Release date: 3rd March 2023


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.