Creed III – Movie Review

Men will literally become the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world to avoid going to therapy

What’s it about?

Adonis Creed has retired as boxing heavyweight champion of the world, and both his career and family life appear to be perfect until a figure from his past reappears and throws his world into disarray.

What’d we think?

Peter Linning says: Michael B Jordan makes an impressive directorial debut with Creed III, taking a fan-favourite (if formulaic) franchise in just enough of a new direction to make it stand out from the 8 movies that came before it. The best Rocky movies (I’m including the Creed films here) are underdog stories, and Creed III makes use of that familiar dynamic by making the antagonist the underdog this time around. Jonathon Majors is phenomenal in this movie, stealing every scene he’s in with an absolutely incredible performance that swings from a guarded, withdrawn figure that we see in his early scenes, to a beast of brash, towering arrogance when he slips into his public persona.

Michael B Jordan admitted to being influenced by anime in his direction of the fight sequences, and this is realised in the heightened reality of these moments – the action speeds up, slows down, and the camera whirls around the fighters in impossible ways, delivering the best boxing sequences the franchise has offered. The moments of family drama and interpersonal tension lack the same power, they’re serviceable but seem like filler compared to the dynamism of the fights and training montages.

Creed III flirts with greatness and comes close, but the contrivances required to get us to the final act are a little too much to forgive. It’s still a good movie, one of the best entries in the series, and worth seeing for the powerhouse performance from Jonathon Majors.

Sam Donaldson says: What impresses me about the Rocky films is they always manage to find a new way to keep me interested in the Italian Stallion’s pursuit of going the distance. Not all of the films work, but each film holds a special place in my heart, including the one with the robot. After several decades of excitement, montages, heart, montages, robot servants and montages, this is the first movie in the franchise without Stallone’s presence (due to a disagreement with a producer). And it’s still a good time.

Creed III is Michael B Jordan’s directorial debut. Instead of going bigger like in the second film, Michael B Jordan makes the right choice by making the stakes in Creed III smaller in scope but still large for the titular character. Jonathan Majors does a great job as Adonis’ childhood friend and the inevitable antagonist.

Some of the dramatic choices don’t work for me, as while the ending has plenty of heart, it felt slightly anticlimactic. Michael B Jordan does a fine job directing, making interesting stylistic choices and flourishes during the boxing scenes that kept it visually interesting. While not as good as the first Creed, this film was a solid entry in a great series.

Jonathon Majors steals the show in a solid addition to the Rocky/Creed mythology
A raconteur by nature and motormouth by trade, the only thing Pete loves more than watching movies is a good debate about movies. He'll argue with anyone about anything, and enjoy it more than is socially acceptable.
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