Full of emotion that is felt in every punch and every swing, the predictability takes a side step, making Creed III a truly enjoyable watch.
BY ELLIOT LINES MARCH 2, 2023
Adonis Creed, now the current household name on the boxing film mantle. For years Rocky wasn't contended, but when Creed came in 2015 it felt like the passing of the torch (especially as Stallone featured himself). Eight years later and 2 films down the line, Creed III feels like the mentor has stepped away and given Michael B Jordan the reigns on this franchise. Full of emotion that is felt in every punch and every swing, the predictability takes a side step, making Creed III a truly enjoyable watch.
We start with a glimpse into the past of Adonis and Damien as "kids", leading up to the event that'll set this movie in motion. When we join the present day we are a little down the line from where we left off in Creed II. Adonis Creed (Michael B Jordan) gets to the top of the charts but is now retired, set into the family life. Now a boxing promoter/mentor his money and fame has set him up on a path to help boxing, to find the next big thing. This is when a shadow from his past returns, Damien Anderson (Jonathon Majors), who just wants his shot to be champ but after 18 years in prison and seeing Adonis "live his life", there is more to this arrival and Adonis Creed must face up to his past.
When it comes to boxing, heck most sports films, there is a predictability factor to them. Either an underdog story or a champion falling from grace only to rise up again, Creed III follows both. Adonis Creed is the champion of the boxing world (even after retirement), known by everyone and everywhere, but his choices in this movie cause people to potentially get hurt, just like his father did, causing him to don the gloves once again. Damien Anderson is the underdog, the unknown quantity in this story. Driven by revenge Damien will do anything to get to where he wants to be. With these two characters on these individual paths, at opposite ends of the scale, the movie allows you to connect with them further. You gain a deeper understanding of their motives and history, which ultimately sets the movie up to run at a good pace throughout.
The standout here, and this seems to be becoming a regular thing, is Jonathon Majors. There is a reason this man was chosen to play multiple versions of one character in the next phase of the MCU, his range is phenomenal. The amount of emotion he injects into each scene draws your eye to him at all points, stealing each scene he shows up in. However, here Michael B Jordan is certainly his equal. Jordan has come a long way since Creed, a performance that (in my opinion) was not bad but raw. You can see the impact of 2 films later he has grown into this role and matches up to Majors here, and it is imperative that the two connect on screen otherwise this does not work.
Creed III offers more to Adonis' character than the other two movies. As previously mentioned he is now settled into the family life, with Bianca and daughter Amara. With the addition of Amara the stakes are higher for Adonis and her addition adds so much more depth to his character, as well giving us a few laugh out loud moments, who'd of thought you'd see Jordan wearing a dinosaur onesie in this movie. Bianca (Tessa Thompson) is given plenty more to do here, which only adds to the family undertone the movie has.
Now if we went through a boxing film review and didn't talk about the fight scenes something would be wrong. There are multiple fights throughout Creed III but there is only one standout, not because of the fight itself, but some of the interesting choices made by Jordan as the director. The final fight brings together Creed and Anderson, its a grudge match, with both swinging for the fences, almost forgetting the skills of boxing. During the fight you get an array of slow motion shots with amped sound to make you feel each and every blow these two are taking on. But what stood out most was Jordan's decision to have a whole scene with an empty crowd. Now this put the two boxers face to face, no distractions, heightened emotions and everything about this choice worked, a choice which elevated the fight and it's stakes. Jordan and Majors, fighting it out on screen together is what we came to see, and in this moment Creed III delivered.
Boxing films are all the same they might say, and they're not wrong. There is an air of predictability to Creed III, but what's put before you is an outstanding cast doing this story justice to create a compelling and thrilling movie, that for me rivals with the first of the franchise, Creed.