Creed is my favourite sports film of all time, and depending on the day of the week, one of my favourite films of all time. The character of Adonis Creed is one that has always stuck with me, and found the films have given him a way to step up, becoming gritty and realistic, a true Rocky franchise for the modern cinema audience. Creed II still hits hard, maybe not as hard as the first but the connection it has to Rocky 4 gives it a huge impact. Safe to be said, I was excited for Creed III.
Adonis (Michael B Jordan) has hung up his gloves and is enjoying retirement with his family, when an old childhood friend turns up after a stint in prison. Damian Anderson (Jonathon Majors) wants his own shot at becoming not just a boxer, but a chance at the title.
Michael B Jordan is a fantastic actor and one of my favourite actors working. This time he steps behind the camera, as well as in front of it, mirroring Sylvester Stallone who directed multiple Rocky films. This is Jordan’s franchise, he is the heart and soul of these films, his performance and chemistry with the rest of the cast has also been impressive. I actually think this time, his performance isn’t as strong as the previous two entries, whether that’s because my expectations of him were higher after the previous two films. Maybe, it’s balancing the two roles of actor and director. It’s certainly not a bad performance, and I think he does well directing the film. He’s obviously learnt a lot and got pointers from his friend, Ryan Coogler (Director of Creed, Black Panther, Fruitvale Station). I didn’t love everything about his style for a Creed film, but I think what he brought, and his clear love of anime, would definitely suit other franchises more.
Jonathon Majors is very much a name on everyone’s lips at the moment, after being the best part of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and having his film, Magazine Dreams shown at Sundance film festival in January. He’s an incredible actor in everything I’ve seen him do so far, he stole the last episode of Loki, he stole Quantumania and he does a great job once again in Creed III. It’s always the quieter moments, the subtle moments you might not notice which give him such an edge, and always command your attention when he is on screen. His character is simple, and I would’ve liked to have spent a little bit more time with so that I can get to know the character more and see his side, rather than limited moments, for a film that comes in just under 2 hours, another couple of short scenes in there could’ve fixed that and I don’t think anyone would’ve complained.
Although there isn’t as much focus on Majors’ character as I would’ve liked but one area of focus which does really work is when the film is best about family. I could see the way they were going to go with the story for Adonis and Bianca’s daughter since the last film, but the scenes with the three of them are when the film is at it’s best.
The fights are also a highlight of a Rocky/Creed film, it’s what the film builds towards so there’s always pressure for them to deliver and land a big impact on the audience watching. These fights were at their best in the first film with the incredible one take fight, but there’s certainly moments and punches that feel real and hit hard in this film too. A combination of the music and performances of the actors helps. There’s moments unlike anything we’ve seen before in this franchise during the final fight which just didn’t work for me and took me out of the film a little bit, waiting for those moments to end.
Overall, Creed III is a decent instalment in the Rocky/Creed franchise, and seems to have set it up to be the last we will see of Adonis, for now anyway. Jonathon Majors and Michael B Jordan are fantastic together, and this franchise is always the best that Tessa Thompson has been. The film’s heart is in the right place, even if the execution didn’t land 100%.
What did you think of Creed III?
I recently made my edit of the ending of Babylon, which if you haven’t checked out you can here.
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