At the peak of his game, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is reaching retirement from his near perfect boxing career, and looking to finally become the family man that he has earned to be. He would continue maintaining own gym while helping monitor and train his next up-and-comer Felix Chavez (Jose Benavidez) who is expected to fight Creed’s past rival, Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu). Unfortunately for Creed, tables would be shifted as his childhood friend Damian shows up after an extended time away wanting to step back into the ring, and take that championship title that Adonis and his boxers would strive to keep. Damian had a dream of becoming the best boxer around when he and Creed were kids, but his trouble with the law would put that dream on hold for almost two decades. Damian would think now is his best chance to make his dream a reality, and is looking at Creed to help him get there.
Creed and Damian go way back, and of course Creed would be willing to reach out a helping hand when he sees Damian down on his luck. So, with that, Creed invites Damian to train at his gym, and he would ascertain what Damian is truly made of. Creed would remain hesitant to put Damian into real boxing matches with no professional experience, but the persistence flows freely within Damian, and he would not be willing to back out of something that he has been striving to achieve for so many years. The tension would continue to thicken between Creed and Damian, and appearances would be a little deceiving when it comes to Damian’s true intentions. Creed notices early on that Damian would spar too aggressively, so he would attempt to hold Damian back from the spotlight he dreams of, but Damian will not be hearing a ‘no’ from anyone. Not after all this time.
Michael B. Jordan would excel greatly in my opinion in this directorial debut of CREED III. He has been vocal about being a fan of anime throughout past interview’s drawing inspiration from anime like, Hajime No Ippo, or Dragonball Z. The melodrama runs thick throughout that anime painting deep pictures of rising hero fighters, and the fight scenes in this film have a real comic book feel to them. From the slow-motion over-analyzation of their opponents, to the quick moving camera and strong punchy feel to the hits given by all fighters involved, there was a real animated type of action caught on screen. It really was quite mesmerizing, and honestly a lot of fun to watch. The pacing felt just right, and even with a film that was almost 3 hours; I kept wanting to see more, and see what would happen next.
Outside of the fighting is where we really get into the meat and potatoes of the CREED films though, and with the return of the supporting cast from Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, and especially Phylicia Rashad there is a lot of emotional impact into Creed’s world. With his daughter a little older now, we get to see Creed perform his fatherly duties with pride, and there are various cute moments that he shares with the audience as a father that really were joyful to behold, especially when she is showing signs of aggressive tendencies like her father. Jonathon Majors was no slouch either though, and I felt like he was an immaculate choice in his performance. That man is seriously huge, and to see someone who would go toe-to-toe with creed; he felt like the natural fit.
Overall, this movie was a huge win for CREED fans. I think Michael B. Jordan was able to capture so many moments of what it means to be a championship fighter, with real world problems just like Sylvester Stallone would have (who was sadly missed, but understandably so). This film felt like watching a real life anime in action, and though that is slightly different from the previous two films, it felt like an easy progression. Whether we stop here, or we continue to get this movies; I would gladly keep stepping into the ring with Michael B. Jordan as Creed.
Written By: Dimitreus Newell