Creed III

Creed III Movie Review

“Creed III” is a new movie in the franchise of “Rocky”, which started back in 1976. Back then, Rocky faced a boxer in the ring named Apollo Creed. With this offshoot from the original series, Creed’s son has risen in the ranks and now is a retired Heavyweight Champ. Three movies in, and now Creed faces a new opponent in the ring, someone from his dark past…


Adonis “Donnie” Creed (played by Michael B. Jordan) is at the top of his world. He defeated the prior Heavyweight Champion in an exciting boxing match three years ago. Creed has since has retired from boxing and has opened a boxing gym. He is a big name still in boxing and fight promotion.


His wife is Bianca Taylor (played by Tessa Thompson), a famous singer, who has also cut back on performing. She is a major record producer for other artists, and her hearing issues made her leave the stage. Together, they have a lovely young girl named Amara (played by Mila Davis-Kent). Amara is deaf, so both Donnie and Bianca communicate with sign language.


At the gym, Donnie has his experienced trainer Tony Evers (played by Wood Harris). One of the star boxers is a fellow named Felix Chavez (played by Jose Benavidez). There is an upcoming big boxing match between Chavez and Viktor Drago (played by Florian Munteanu). Drago’s father once took on Rocky Balboa – many year ago. Donnie has become a big boxing promoter, and all of his fame gives him plenty of credibility.


In Donnie’s youth, before he was adopted into the Creed family, he was a troubled youngster. One of his best friends was arrested and put away for 18 years in prison. Donnie carries a lot of guilt and shame for not standing up for his friend and letting him take the blame for a fight outside a liquor store. He never even tried to contact him for all those years.


But now his old pal is out and free once more. Damian “Dame” Anderson (played by Jonathan Majors) is free and he makes his way to see Creed. Dame was a young Golden Gloves amateur champion back in those days. He has kept in shape, and he still thinks that he has a shot at being the Heavyweight Champion of boxing. He is much older than most of the other boxers, but he makes a case to Donnie that he still needs his chance.


There is the big Chavez/Drago fight coming up in just a few weeks. Donnie tells his trainer Tony to let Dame become a sparring partner for Chavez. Tony wants nothing to do with Dame, because the big fellow is just out of prison. He has no boxing record, other than his amateur fights from many years ago. Dame’s style is big and rough, and just shy of being an all-out brawler. Tony doesn’t think that Dame will be a clean fighter.


There is an incident where someone comes up to Viktor Drago and nearly breaks his arm. With Drago sidelined, the big fight coming up only has one boxer – Felix Chavez. Drago is unable to box, and now Chavez needs an opponent. Of course, Dame says that he needs the chance to be in the ring for the big Heavyweight Championship. Out of nowhere, Dame has a rare opportunity to get back into the ring and prove his worth.


Donnie is in a hard place, and he needs this fight to happen. So he gives the OK to let Dame Anderson fill in the slot that used to be for Drago. Felix Chavez has power in the ring, but he also brings poise and patience in his boxing style. Dame could not care less, because what he brings into the ring are brutal strength, vicious punches, and untamed blows. You can guess which boxer comes out on top in the big match.


Dame is now at the top, as the Boxing Heavyweight Champ, with a record of one and zero. Tony Evers is furious at Donnie, and he lets him know that. Bianca thinks that Donnie has been a little too reckless. Donnie’s adoptive mother, Mary Anne Creed (played by Phylicia Rashad), knows that he has been holding back guilt and shame for close to twenty years.


Now there is only one way for Adonis Creed to correct his error. He will come out of retirement to have one more dramatic match. This will be Creed against the unlikely ex-con Heavyweight Champ. The person that Donnie once looked up to, and then fled from, will be his opponent. Training will be fierce, and interests will be raised.


Can a former Champ, now just getting to edge of his prime, come out of retirement to take on the current Champ, who is older than normal and has almost no professional experience? Will the brute force power of an ‘Unstoppable Force’ win out over the challenge from guilt-ridden, but experienced ‘Immovable Object’?


“Creed III” is the third chapter in the story of Adonis Creed, son of Rocky’s opponent Apollo Creed. Michael B. Jordan has starred as the boxer in each of these movies, and this time he carries the duties as Director. Jordon has done a superb job in both areas, creating a movie that is itself a Heavyweight.


The first movie in the overall ‘Rocky’ franchise that contains no Rocky (Sylvester Stallone), that aspect is more than compensated by the addition of Jonathan Majors (playing the role of Dame).  Between the acting ability (and the physically toned muscles of these two actors), Jordan and Majors are a dynamic duo.


The story does a weird retcon of Creed’s life, getting a character (Dame) from Donnie’s childhood who was previously unknown. Also, having Dame just get out of prison and getting him into a situation where he becomes World Heavyweight Champ almost overnight is a head-scratcher. This movie whacks on your emotions almost as much as a sparring partner with something to prove.


Between the main two characters, there is a huge emotional chasm. All the supporting characters are also really good, especially the young Mila Davis-Kent (who plays the daughter). The typical sports movie themes are all in here. But they are done with a precise flair and with a lot of heart. The final boxing match (Creed vs. Anderson, in the middle of Dodger Stadium) is a sight to behold.


“Creed III” is a movie that counts down the rounds and builds you up again for a fulfilling emotional technical knock-out.

Creed III

Directed by: Michael B. Jordan
Screenplay by: Keenan Coogler, Zach Baylin
Story by: Ryan Coogler, Keenan Coogler, Zach Baylin
Based on Characters by: Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors, Wood Harris, Florian Munteanu, Phylicia Rashad
Cinematography: Kramer Morgenthau
Edited by: Tyler Nelson, Jessica Baclesse
Music by: Joseph Shirley
Distributed by: United Artists Releasing
Release date: March 3, 2023
Length: 116 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13 for intense sports action, violence and some strong language
Genre: Sports Drama


Rating contributor: JMcNaughton tmc

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