Review: “CREED III”

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Michael B. Jordan makes his directorial debut in spectacular fashion, with the third installment of the franchise that propelled him to become a superstar, which is ironic because just as the character of Adonis is ascending into superstardom, Michael B. Jordan was becoming a bigger movie star in the same time period of the last decade, a tale of art imitating life and life imitating art. Adonis Creed has been retired for three years as the former undisputed champion of the world, happily married with his wife, a now award-winning music star and producer Bianca Creed (Tessa Thompson), and daughter Amara Creed (Mila Davis-Kent), now a legend in the sport who is helping to train and promote the next generation of fighters. Things suddenly change for Adonis when a face from his past turns up outside his gym, Damian Anderson, played with great heart and soul by Jonathan Majors. Damian was his childhood best friend and a former Golden Gloves champion and gifted boxing prodigy when they were teenagers, who has spent the last 18 years in prison due to a incident that took place which changed the course of their lives forever, a tragic sliding doors moment. This brings back memories of trauma and guilt that Adonis has buried from his past. He wants to help Damian and lets him train and spar at his gym, but little does Adonis know of the determination, rage, and hunger that Damian has held all these years to fulfill his potential of being a boxing champion that was derailed nearly two decades earlier. He will stop at nothing in his relentless pursuit to achieve the life he should’ve had, that he sees Adonis living, and the resulting anger and sadness Damian feels towards his former friend.

Adonis has to accept that he will have to take on his former childhood friend and now rival Damian Anderson, after his relentless pursuit to right a wrong he feels was done to him. Adonis Creed will once again have to fight for his name, his legacy, his family and finally face his past, in the fight of his life for both men. The fight itself was very powerful and visceral. You can feel every punch, sweat and bone crunching connection, along with the tactics, strategy and game of chess that is needed to compete at a world-class level in a film. Michael B. Jordan shot this brilliantly and used cameras for IMAX, and you feel the immersive experience as the audience. His love for anime was a major influence in the fight scenes. Both actors were in the best shape of their careers physically. The dynamic brought to the screen by Jonathan Majors is powerful; you feel for him with an earnest, passionate, rage that leaves you kind of wanting to root for him. Creed III touches subtly on the unfortunate experiences of young black American men in the American justice system. That hit me personally as a Black British man myself, this even happens in the UK on a smaller scale. Adonis was fortunate that he had people to support him growing up such as Mary-Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad), Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) and Bianca (Tessa Thompson) as a young adult providing him with guidance and love. But Damian did not have that same support network. Creed III seems to be the conclusion of this story but Michael B. Jordan has said he is open to expanding the Rocky/Creed Universe, as it would be interesting to explore more of Damian’s story and his daughter Amara who’s developing a love for boxing as he starts to train her. A masterstroke was the addition of ESPN’s Stephen A Smith one of America’s premier sports personalities brought a nice realism and relevance to the film.

In a interview with Deadline, Michael B. Jordan said:

“Building the Creed universe is something that I’m really excited about,”

“Every day I tried to show up and I wanted to impress them. I wanted to let them know that I wasn’t doing it just to do the job. And finding the truth within the Creed family was really, really important to us.”

In a Interview with Total Film, Jonathan Majors talked about his mindset in relation to his creed III character, read below:

“At 33 years old, I’m still full of piss and vinegar,”

“Do I always have a chip on my shoulder? I’ve got the whole chip bag on my shoulder. It only grows the more I pay attention to what’s going on in the world.”

CREED III

In Cinemas 3rd March 2023

Below Official Creed Synopsis from Warner Bros. Pictures:

Directed By:

Michael B. Jordan

Starring:

Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors, Wood Harris, Florian Munteanu, Mila Kent, and Phylicia Rashad

From Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures comes “Creed III,” with Michael B. Jordan making his directorial debut and returning in the role of Adonis Creed in the third installment of the hit franchise. The film also stars Tessa Thompson (“Creed” franchise, “Passing”), Jonathan Majors (“Da 5 Bloods,” “Lovecraft Country”), Wood Harris (“Creed” franchise, “Blade Runner 2049”), Florian Munteanu (“Creed II,” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”), newcomer Mila Kent, and Phylicia Rashad (“Creed” franchise, “Soul”).

Jordan directs from a screenplay by Keenan Coogler (“Space Jam: A New Legacy”) & Zach Baylin (“King Richard”), from a story by Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) and Keenan Coogler & Zach Baylin. It is produced by Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan, Elizabeth Raposo, Jonathan Glickman and Sylvester Stallone. The executive producers are Sev Ohanian, Zinzi Coogler, Nicolas Stern and Adam Rosenberg.

Jordan is joined behind the camera by director of photography Kramer Morgenthau (“Creed II,” “Thor: The Dark World”), production designer Jahmin Assa (“mid90s,” “Angelyne”), editor Tyler Nelson (“The Batman,” “Rememory”),  costume designer Lizz Wolf (“Creed II,” “Pacific Rim: Uprising”), with a score by composer Joseph Shirley (“Jackass Forever,” “The Book of Boba Fett”).

Creed III will be released in the UK on 3rd March 2023 by Warner Bros. Pictures

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