Creed III- Review


Chase P. Gonzalez

Creed 3 Review

Movie theaters, the true source of the love of film…What many see as their own church of life that they visit once a month.  And, within such an insightful entertainment setting, there comes a call for a familial sense of knowledge around you.  Whether you’re watching a blockbuster or indie film on the big screen with or without another, humans by creed seek for someone to partake in a potential bond through expression.  The key here- leave behind your life outside the theater, your hardships your constraints and move forward; and most of all, enjoy yourself.  If you find some source of elation by reading these words, then you will have a good time viewing Creed III (2023).

Creed III, the next film in the Rocky spinoff franchise, has just been released, and like the trilogy overall…It pulls no punches.  This film provides nothing but entertainment, although it achieves this not only through throwing punches.  Across the Rocky franchise, prior to the Creed films, there was a reason to go to the movies and watch a “sports movie” under that name.  You came to the theater to see an old-fashioned yet brutal show of masculine manpower between two men.  Every punch accounted for a piece of the boxers’ hearts, yet put the fighters’ pieces together all the same.  This is what you get with this latest installment in the critically applauded series of films, the first Creed film having released around 8 years ago.  Not only is the final match quite good, but the boxing throughout is also well-done.

The fights are where you truly see Michael B. Jorden’s youthful yet accomplished directing power.  For an actor seen propped up throughout the past 20 years or so, he has shown a great deal of passion for the art, the passion that is seen in the effort he put into his directing job here.  The boxing in Creed III provides not only an entertaining fight for viewers but also something different to Rocky fans alike.  When you look towards Rocky’s first fight with Apollo Creed in the first Rocky (1976), you see a boxing match that demonstrates heart as much as it does power.  Creed III takes this code further with the shooting of the final fight, introducing new ways to show punches as they hit the opposition.  Every major punch accounts for a close-up, something Adonis Creed himself added to the film in a reference and show of appreciation to various Japanese anime, specifically sighting the Dragon Ball franchise of animated projects.  Beyond this, he demonstrates the head of the character and their thoughts through specific set-pieces calling back to a more personal side of each fighter’s relationships and past.

Speaking of fighters, like his role in Antman and The Wasp: Quantumania a couple of weeks earlier, Jonathon Majors knocks the teeth out of the ring in Creed III’s case.  He provides a sense of verisimilitude to the character of Damian in this film, a childhood friend of our protagonist and one chasing the top.  By this, the final fight is the most personal out of all the fights in the franchise.  Where the franchise focused on more of Rocky’s side of things especially when you get into his relationship with Ivan Drago in Creed II (2018), this movie puts the camera on Jordan and Majors as now false friends with a troubled past.  This not only props up the antagonist but makes for a bigger impact in the movie’s final moments than any of Creed or even Rocky’s fights (especially when it comes to a Rocky V, for example).

For Rocky fans since the original or even those of gen-Z who binge-watched the whole series on Netflix or various streaming platforms, Rocky himself is indeed missing.  Sly Stallone, the actor who portrays the larger than life achiever of the American dream, is excluded from the film this time due to background troubles with the franchise originally written and directed by himself.  In opposition to a producer behind the films, he has since turned his back on the franchise (for now).  I must reassure you, though, the loss of Rocky is felt at some points; Adonis Creed as a man is more focused on the story five years after the last film, which saw Rocky accompanying his son once again.  Another thing that combats this fear is how different this film is.  Yes, it has the classic build-up to the fight, a training sequence, and an eventual rallying finale, but it has new aspects to spice things up a bit.  If you felt Rocky boxing fatigue after watching the prior eight films, this one may provide you with a more stand-out film…When you watch the same thing over and over again, it can get boring.  Creed III serves new food on the same platter, taking aspects from what came before and extenuating this story.  Oh, and if you’re a Drago fan, you will really like this movie.

So, like the story of the film, Creed III follows in the footsteps of the before yet moves on and emphasizes what is here and now.  That is what this trilogy was in the first place, and presently has the ball in its side of the feel. (Stallone excluded!)

And so, I present my score: