After two highly successful franchise films, CREED is back with a third installment, this time tackling themes of generational trauma and race in America. CREED III is Michael B. Jordan‘s directorial debut and does not disappoint fans of Jordan or the franchise.
CREED III Review
Still dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed is thriving in a balanced career and family life. However, that balance is disrupted when childhood friend and former boxing prodigy Damian Anderson resurfaces after having served time in prison. Damian is eager to prove he’s still a champion and that he deserves his shot at a title—and is willing to do anything to get it.
The match between former friends isn’t any ordinary fight; it’s laden with generational trauma, guilt, and a statement on race in America. To settle the score, Adonis puts his future on the line to battle Damian—a fighter who has nothing to lose.
Much more of a new story and not feeling like a reboot (Creed I) or a sequel (Creed II), Creed III stands well on its own as a new story, despite borrowing a few concepts from Rocky III—while never even questioning where Rocky is the entire movie.
A solid filmmaking debut from Jordan also features stellar cinematography from Kramer Morgenthau. Morgenthau, who returns as the cinematographer for Creed II, is a 6-time Emmy nominee known for his work on films such as Respect, The Many Saints of Newark, and Thor: The Dark World, and a brilliant visual storyteller in both film and television.
Between Jordan’s direction and Morgenthau’s cinematography, Creed III‘s visuals are striking. Taking nods from anime fights such as those seen in “Naruto,” the scenes in the ring alone are worth watching this film for. From slow-motion body blows rippling the skin and flinging sweat to bone-crunching jabs throwing blood and spit, the angles all brilliantly capture every punch creating a unique audience viewing experience.
That experience is seeing Donnie and Dame in the ring, hashing out their childhood grievances. Had it not been for Dame taking the fall during the fight that fateful night and spending 18 years in prison, Creed wouldn’t be Creed; he wouldn’t be the successful former boxing champ and gym owner with the happy life he is today.
So when Dame comes looking for his proverbial payment in the form of a shot at a title, Creed feels the need to help him out of guilt, though it isn’t really that simple. Both products of the same institution, Creed just happened to be given that one-in-a-million chance at getting out of that institution, while Dame did not. It could have just as easily been Creed instead of Dame or both of them arrested that night. Even the outfits the two wear in their final fight are representative of their current positions in society: Creed with a spin on the American flag representing the dream and Dame in black representing darkness, a forgotten soul.
About CREED III
After dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) has been thriving in both his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damian (Jonathan Majors), 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 Damian—a fighter who has nothing to lose.
Creed III is the third installment in the successful franchise and is Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut.
Runtime: 117 minutes
Rating: PG-13 for intense sports action, violence, and some strong language
Director: Michael B. Jordan
Screenplay by: Keenan Coogler & Zach Baylin
Story by: Ryan Coogler and Keenan Coogler & Zach Baylin
Produced by: Irwin Winkler, p.g.a., Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan, p.g.a., Elizabeth Raposo, p.g.a., Jonathan Glickman, Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors, Wood Harris, Mila Davis-Kent, Florian Munteanu, and Phylicia Rashad
Creed III opens on Friday, March 3.
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