Review: “Creed III”


Julia Kapros

Photo by Juilia Kapros/RooNews.

Jonah Rivera, Staff Writer

  Recently released film “Creed III” adds a new layer to the ever-growing “Rocky” universe. The film explores guilt and forgiveness. As per usual in this movie franchise, you leave the theater dead set on joining a boxing gym, but also with a lesson or two learned.

  Michael B. Jordan makes his directorial debut without Sylvester Stallone, who left early in the film’s production due to creative differences. However, make no mistake, Jordan leaves no doubt about his directorial skills in the emotion filled third installment.

  The film picks up 8 years after we last saw Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) fight Ivan Drago’s son, Viktor (Florian Munteanu), and unsurprisingly won.

  With every boxing movie, there has to be an opponent, enter Jonathon Majors, who portrays Damien Anderson, Adonis’ childhood friend who has spent the last 18 years in prison. He is hungry for a shot to prove he has what it takes to win in the ring.

  The film begins with a young Adonis and Damien driving to Damien’s fight. You can easily see the friendship dynamic between the two. Adonis is the hype man to Damien as he looks forward to his future boxing career. However, as the film progresses, we get a peek into how Damien ended up in jail, and how Adonis got to go and live his life.

  After the flashback, we see Adonis retiring as a champion. Adonis then transitions to post boxing life as a husband to Bianca (Tessa Thompson) and father to his daughter, Amara (Mila Kent-Davis).

  When Adonis first sees Damien after his release from prison, you can feel the uneasiness as the scene unfolds. We all know they will end up in the ring, but how they get there is what makes the content of the film.

  We can see Adonis struggle with how much to help Damien. From Damien’s point of view, Adonis got to live the life he would’ve lived, and now he’ll do whatever it takes to make up for lost time. 

  For Adonis, he feels responsible for Damien ending up in jail, and guilty for not keeping in touch with Damien perhaps feels indebted to help him.

  With Damien on the rise to claim the championship belt, and Adonis pulled back into the ring to defend his name and legacy, what we get is an epic fight at Dodger Stadium. 

  Watchers get a clear look into the care and effort Jordan brought into directing, especially in casting Kent-Davis. The young actress, who is deaf, makes her film debut as the 8-year-old feisty daughter who may have inherited her dad’s tendency to swing. We see both Adonis and Bianca communicating with Amara using American Sign Language (ASL), an effort that has been praised by the deaf community.  

  “Creed III” brings out a variety of emotions and reactions. I laughed, got teary-eyed and cheered along with my fellow moviegoers. I imagined myself as Adonis and Damien in the newest cycles of training montages. However, nothing will ever beat the original training montage in the first Rocky, made even better by the now famous song “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti. The film has 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, and there have even been murmurs of extending the franchise universe. 

  While I felt “Creed II” relied too much from the “Rocky IV” storyline, “Creed III” finds its footing.

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