‘Creed III’ is a total knockout

As one of the most-anticipated movies of the year, “Creed III” had some high expectations to live up to. To say the movie delivered is an understatement. “Creed III” takes aspects from the previous two movies of the franchise in a new direction, and it was a breath of fresh air.

Being the sequel series to the “Rocky” franchise, the first two movies in the “Creed” franchise followed similar formulas to those of its predecessor. You have an underdog who wants to fight, gets written off and then goes on to become a champion. This movie takes a different approach to the typical boxing movie with stakes, both mental and emotional, higher than ever before.

The movie starts out in the past as we see a young Adonis Creed getting picked up at night by his friend, Dame Anderson. They go to a fighting club where Dame is about to box. Adonis takes money that Dame gave him to bet on a first-round knockout. Dame wins and both of them get a massive payday. They go to a liquor store to celebrate, where Adonis gets in a fight. 

From there, the movie makes a seamless transition back to present time where Adonis, played by Michael B. Jordan, is in his final fight of his career. It is against the person he fought in the first movie, “Pretty” Ricky Conlan. After this fight, Adonis retires and begins to look after his gym, The Delphi Boxing Academy. Outside of the gym, he reunites with Dame, played by Jonathan Majors. This is where the main plot of the movie starts to play out.

Throughout the rest of the movie, we see pain and turmoil in the relationship between Adonis and Dame. They both clearly remember the night that led to Dame getting imprisoned for 18 years and they also remember Adonis running away and never checking in on him. However, they both try to pretend it never happened. 

Jonathan Majors and Micheal B. Jordan make a dynamic duo in “Creed.” Photo courtesy of Chuck Sneed, Flickr

The acting performances of both Jordan and Majors are award-worthy. The way both of them play out their scenes together with clear awkwardness and uneasiness is a great example of the talent both of them share. You can clearly see through their mannerisms that they are uncomfortable and they act exactly how two friends who have not seen each other for nearly two decades would.

Through the rest of the film, Majors’ acting gets even better as he depicts a man who is watching someone else live the dream he was supposed to have. You can see the pain in his face whenever he talks about Adonis’ accolades and, eventually, it reaches a boiling point. I will not spoil that, but it is a great turning point in the story. 

One notable subtraction from this movie compared to the other two “Creed” movies is Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa. Stallone said that he did not want to be in this movie due to the creative direction that the directors and Jordan wanted to go with it. However, I don’t think it hurt the movie as the entire premise of the film is to reflect on yourself and let go of the past. Without Stallone, this movie seems more like a stand-alone, and I feel like it was a great thing for the future of the franchise.

“Creed III” was Jordan’s directorial debut. Since he established his character so well through the first two movies, he was given the chance to fully take hold of the franchise. He absolutely killed it when it came to directing. There were plenty of visual details and shots throughout the film that told a story without any dialogue. One particular shot is of Adonis and Dame looking at each other through a wall, but neither knows the other is there. His use of music was also incredible.

Other notable acting performances in the movie were Tessa Thompson as Adonis’ wife, Bianca, Mila Davis-Kent as their deaf child, Amara, and Phylicia Rashad as Adonis’ mother.

“Creed III” is a must-watch even if you do not like boxing movies. The personal storylines, acting and directing make this an incredible film. The “Creed” franchise, which was already incredibly strong, got bolstered further by this movie. I cannot wait to see the direction Jordan takes it with the next movie.


5/5 Stars



Featured photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, Flickr