Upon Creed initially releasing back in 2015, I had massive hesitations because I am a fan of the Rocky franchise. But, of course, any uncertainties went out the window after seeing the film. The sequel had a near impossible task of living up to the original, and while it didn’t quite achieve that, it was still fantastic. Like the Rocky franchise, my concern was that the further these films go on, the more they might become like the Rocky films. The biggest question is, does Creed III deliver a knockout? Or will it become an aged fighter that should’ve retired?
Creed III follows the story of Adonois (Michael B. Jordan) on the verge of entering his post-boxing career. However, a childhood friend and boxer, Damian (Jonathan Majors), resurfaces and threatens to unravel everything he has worked for, turning his life upside down. What starts out as a friendly reunion soon spirals out of control, leading to the two men at the peak of their physical prowess fighting for their lives.
“Try spending half your life in a cell watching someone else live your life.”
The easiest place to begin talking about this film is with Jonathan Majors, but first, let me explain how much I loved the writing of Damian as a character. There are little things early on that caught my eye that constructed this cold and quiet monster. For example, during the building of his fight with Chavez, you never see Damian take off the baggy hoodie or sweatpants. I believe that Damian wanted everyone to underestimate him as this “old man” getting an undeserving title shot. However, once he steps into the ring, you see him take off the cut-off hoodie and to reveal a shredded man prepared for war.
More on Majors, you’ve heard the name by now, but 2023 is the year the world meets this incredible actor. From Ant-Man to Creed III to the masterful Magazine Dreams, Majors is about to take Hollywood by storm. Majors is a physical specimen, shocking no one, but his quiet, soft demeanor makes Damian a devastating foe. He isn’t loud like Ali or Tyson, but in the ring, he can hit as hard as either. Majors delivers a knockout performance here.
Representation matters and one of the more profound things added to this story is that Amara, Adonis and Bianca’s daughter, is deaf. As someone with a deaf sister, seeing how filmmakers use it in their movies have either felt forced or they treat it like a disability. So I loved how the writers and Michael B. Jordan treated it as part of everyday life, including using sign language, and when people were introduced to Amara, they used it. Also, Mila Davis-Kent, who plays Amara, is magnificent.
Walk out of what was and walk into what is.
I could probably write a trillion words about Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, but I don’t want to bore you. I will just say that several sequences and shots in this film took my breath away. Jordan had this veteran prowess behind the lens, making you eat up every moment he gave us. The two essential things about boxing (and Rocky) films are the in-ring fighting and the montage leading up to the big fight. I can confirm that Jordan nailed these two things with precision.
Overall, from the intensity built within the script to the fantastic ensemble to the fight sequences, Creed III delivers on my expectations and solidifies this as one of the greatest trilogies ever made. I can’t wait to revisit this over and over again and dissect the little things within the story that I loved. You don’t want to miss this opening weekend.
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