Creed III: Movie Review

Creed III Movie Review: The Champ is Back

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"Creed III" is a film of firsts. It's the directorial debut of Michael B. Jordan and the first in the Rocky franchise without Sylvester Stallone in it. What we get is a product that stays true to the franchise formula while still bringing in fresh ideas that deviates from tradition. And while it doesn't succeed in trumping "Creed" in our opinion, this courage to do more and to do it well is definitely back to form for this franchise.

After becoming the undisputed heavy weight champion by beating his long-time rival Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew), Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) has retired. He flourishes as a dad and as a trainer for the next set of boxing legends. This peace and prosperity is disturbed when an old-time friend, Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors) reappears to remember him of his dark past. Adonis is forced to confront his past, present and future head-on - even if it means fighting in the ring one last time.  

If you have watched any film from the "Rocky" franchise, then you'll probably know how "Creed III" will flow. At the end of the day, "Creed III" still follows the same formula that has been reused time and time again. Are we complaining? Not really. Because this storytelling just doesn't get old. It's one that can still reach the emotions and the adrenaline rush even after 9 films. It doesn't mean though that there's nothing fresh in "Creed III" because with Michael B. Jordan at the helm (and without Rocky Balboa), the film was able to induce new ideas into the formula. Jordan's directorial debut was impressive and if we could base these films on the in-ring fights alone, this easily tops the list. If we loved how the first "Creed" was able to capture in-ring fights up-close and personal, this time, the fights have that extra creative flair (it's not all about the physical fighting) that added nuanced emotions and drama that you should see to really understand what we're talking about. 

Narratively, this was a solid effort. There were still some plot points that didn't make sense or completely shelved for the sake of pushing its story forward and we won't deny that Rocky's presence was needed and it was really odd that he wasn't there in those scenes. The one who really stole the show though was Jonathan Majors. He was simply astounding in this film both physically and performance-wise. We wouldn't even be surprised if this franchise suddenly shifts its next character arc towards Damian. Overall, "Creed III" was both a massive departure and a rekindling of tradition. Oddly enough, it worked and what we get is a great sports drama experience once again.   

Rating: 4 reels

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