Creed III Review
Here’s my Creed III review which opens March 1 and stars Michael B Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors and more. Also directed by Michael B Jordan.
Adonis Creed returns for the third installment in this Rocky spin-off franchise. Creed III pits Adonis against somebody from his past – Damian Anderson played by Jonathan Majors (who we recently saw in Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania as Kang the Conqueror).
The drama boxing hybrid brings something new to the table namely more backstory for our boy Donnie. The film follows the traditional Rocky formula but comes in staggered proportions. Plus, it does a pretty neat “mirror match” with the protagonist and antagonist. The formulaic approach might get stale for some but for Rocky fans and people who enjoyed the first two Creed movies it’s certainly OK.
Jonathan Majors as Dame Anderson is also something interesting for me. He’s intimidating and intense, but the film sadly aimed at the wrong target. We didn’t get enough of the trash talk and intensity. We could have gotten more promos from the guy but we never got that. It could have been promising to get a few more minutes in of the two just going all over in public where we could see more of Majors’ range. Nevertheless, Majors is a major character that really adds more depth to the already established Creed.
Without a Rock-y
One of the things I was looking out for in the third Creed movie is how it would work without the involvement of Sylvester Stallone and the Rocky Balboa character. Stallone didn’t want anything to do with this so its the first movie where there’s zero involvement. I like how they were following this road that’s not getting intertwined with the Rocky story but they could have done that in Creed II. So going into Creed III, it felt like we could have gotten something especially with how the status quo changes for the characters and how that one character is deeply connected to the franchise.
Director Jordan has stated for the record that the film needed to be shot in IMAX to make the film better and I have to say that was a good call. There were moments in the final fight that feels like an episode of Hajime No Ippo where and given Jordan’s anime fascination you could make that distinct connection. It was cool though plus with the right effects, the right screen ratio and that big screen quality, that was epic. Although that approach might not be something that Rocky fans would enjoy, anime fans could get a kick out of that.
Music for the film is great especially with a good mix of hip-hop and R&B plus we get bits and pieces of Rocky as well as Creed’s own theme.
There are also some great returning characters (who I won’t spoil) strengthening the ties between the first two movies and this one. Plus the established characters led by Tessa Thompson deliver anywhere between OK to great performances. Thompson’s Bianca has evolved and grown up and delivers some good moments for the film plus I love the moment when she was doing sign to finish the match.
Bonus points for me for Creed III is the fact that he’s now a dad and there are some gentler moments that I can wholly relate to.
But honestly, Creed III was on par with the other films for the franchise. I just wish they had more fight scenes and more tense moments for the film.
If there’s one thing that people might not like about Creed III it would have to be how utterly absurd it could framed. Like literally, you can say that the film is about two grown men who would rather go punch each other out rather than go to separate or joint therapy and iron their issues out. But what the hey, the movie had to happen and the fights just had to go down.