The third film of the Creed franchise was release this weekend with star Michael B. Jordan taking over directorial duties from Ryan Coogler, who directed the first three. Creed III continued the success of the Rocky spin off franchise with top level performances and some of the best boxing you’ve ever seen on the big screen.
Adonis Creed had retired from the world of boxing on top. His final fight led to a victory and Creed became a stay home dad and embrace the world of post boxing. When old old childhood friend, Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors) returned after 18 years in prison, Creed found that dealing with the guilt of the incident that caused Damian to end up in prison was difficult for him.
When Creed was able to finagle a championship boxing match with his own protégé, Felix Chavez (Jose Benavidez), the current champion, Creed did not expect the result that they got, and then he found out the real intention of his old friend.
I thought that Michael B. Jordan did a very solid job as the director of this movie. He certainly had huge shoes to fill in Ryan Coogler, and he did not reach that level, but he did a very solid job. There were some excellent shots in the film, in particular during the final boxing match, that you had never seen in this franchise (or the previous Rocky franchise) and that should be commended.
The performances were really great. Jordan was very confident in this role by now and you could see that he was comfortable in the skin of Adonis Creed no matter what they asked of him to do. They looked to explore residual guilt from the events of the night when Adonis and Damian were kids.
Jonathan Majors is a super star. Coming off his excellent work as Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Majors was full of intensity and felt like he could explode at any moment. Yet, he tempered it with an understanding that this character was not an outright villain. He was not the Mr. T character from Rocky III. Damian had layers that brought a much more balanced character to oppose Creed.
Phylicia Rashad brought her best work in any of the films she has appeared as Mary-Anne Creed to date. Rashad stole several scenes and dominated ever moment she was on screen. There was a particular scene between Rashad and Jordan that could be Oscar worthy.
I will say that I found some parts of the story lacking somewhat. Now, this was not something that I noticed much during the film itself. It is more upon reflection afterwards that a few storyline beats popped up as areas that bothered me. I can’t go into too much detail without spoiling the scenes, but let’s just say that the event from Creed’s past did not necessarily work well for me, and that tarnished a lot of the story moving forward. It is not like I couldn’t get past it, but it was a weak point of the film.
A strong point was the boxing scenes. These scenes felt less exaggerated like the Rocky boxing matches always felt. These were well filmed and constructed in a vey exciting and dramatic manner.
This was a really solid installment in the franchise and I enjoyed watching the movie. I was impressed by Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut inside a huge franchise project. It could not have been an easy feat and he should be considered extremely successful in what he accomplished.