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Review: Creed III
You Can't Run From Your Past
After dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed has been thriving in both his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damien Anderson, resurfaces after serving a long sentence in prison, he is eager to prove that he deserves his shot in the ring. The face-off between former friends is more than just a fight. To settle the score, Adonis must put his future on the line to battle Damien - a fighter who has nothing to lose.
This is the third film in the Creed franchise and when you consider its also a part of the Rocky franchise we’re talking nine films now. Now I have been a huge fan of the Creed section of these movies, the previous two both making my “Best Of” list of their respective years. But keeping things fresh nine films in, and this time without the well-known Rocky character to be found, had me wondering if this wouldn’t be at the same level for me as the previous two.
Luckily for us, Michael B. Jordan takes his turn at directing this entry, his feature debut in fact, and just a few minutes into the movie you could see he has an eye for fight scenes and action-paced scenes. Jordan is openly a big fan of anime, and you can tell it from the way he structures the fights here. We get shots that we’ve never seen before from the eight films that came before, and the final fight features an interesting storytelling device that truly grounds the personal and emotional parts of the showdown.
With Rocky not a character in this one, the story really focuses on having Adonis, his family, and his tumultuous past with Damien as the center of attention. This is easily the character’s most personal and emotional chapter as he straddles the line of a champion facing his past demons and a boxer past his prime and looking to be there for his family. Jordan and Tessa Thompson deliver as they always do in these films, but Jonathan Majors once again shows he can play a charismatic and threatening antagonist well.
The only negative points I’ll give the movie is that we’re not really breaking any new ground here past the way Jordan brought new life to the action and fight sequences. You can pretty much tell where the story is going to next with each story beat, and how it’ll all wrap up. Its a pretty standard boxing tale as a standalone film.
But regardless I think this is a solid addition to the Rocky franchise and could provide a great final chapter in the Creed trilogy if this ends up being the final one. If you’re a big fan of this franchise this will deliver everything you wanted and expected. I can even see this becoming the new pick by some as their favorite of Adonis’ movies. Creed III is a knockout, and now my new favorite movie of the year with the first in 2023 to get an A-tier grade from me.