CREED III – A Review by Gadi Elkon

Michael B. Jordan’s feature directorial debut highlights but also deludes his already impressive rise.  Here is my full review of the third installment in the story of Adonis Creed.

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.

Damian is a fascinating addition to the Creed saga.  Spencer Moore II plays 18 year old Dame while Jonathan Majors flexes his muscles as the recently freed elder Dame.  Either way the acting and physicality performed by both actors elevates the film and all of the accompanying cast.  Majors 2022 was massive and his start of 2023 sees him entrenched into our world as maybe the ultimate villains.  Whether he is conquering as KANG in Ant-Man or bringing the darkness into Creed III there is little doubt Jonathan Majors is making himself as the meanest, maddest, and most memorable figure in 23′.  No matter how much you may dislike Dame in Creed III you find yourself secretly hoping he wins it all!

CREED III is a wild ride of superb visual filmmaking by a Director who smartly leans on underrated DP Kramer Morgenthau, Editors Jessica Baclesse and Tyler Nelson and the camera/visual effects teams.  The fighting in this film is just as eye-catching and believable as the real fight game.  The over hyped feel that is apart of the modern boxing game is completely replicated on-screen.  The movie does lean to its business partners on the presentation of the fighting world.  This only becomes a slight issue when Stephen A. Smith pops up on the big screen.  Outside of that tragedy of terrible sports journalism gone wrong the feel and look of Creed III (and in IMAX!!!) is worth the theater experience.

Now is this a good film or even able to live up to the really good first two films?  No.  Honestly the story is very sluggish and seems to waver on what is is hoping to tell.  The performances are solid especially the vet actor Wood Harris as our stoic Tony “Lil Duke” Burton.  Tessa and Michael B. Jordan are so much more enjoyable when wooing, each other in previous films, rather than the bickering that happens in this film  Phylicia Rashad has the wonderful opportunity to give Mary Creed a impactful farewell.  But the movie fully revolves around this Kane and Abel brother battle.  Majors working off of Jordan is electric.  The continued ability to showcase life as a near deaf person has helped make Tessa Thompson portrayal as Bianca Creed a lovely touch for the trilogy.  This film has the added bonus of young actress Mila Davis-Kent as Amara Creed.  If there is a unique positive element to a mainly violent hype film its the deaf daughter’s sign language led scenes.  One of my favorite moments from the film is when Dame visits the Creed mansion and even learns a few sign language words.  Mila brightens this film on so many levels and easily brings the best out of her director/actor father figure Michael B. Jordan.

This is a blockbuster that has the feel, the look and the sound needed to be a real hit but the plot’s indecisiveness may hinder the legacy.

And NO Rocky wouldn’t have saved this film, but there is one moment where his presence would have been emotionally wonderful.  Just saying.

CREED III  

Director: Michael B. Jordan

Writer: Story By Ryan Coogler with Screenplay & Story By Zach Baylin and Keenan Coogler

Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Jonathan Majors, Tessa Thompson and Wood Harris

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Genres: Drama, Sport

Selig Rating: 3.5 stars

Runtime: 1 h 56 m

Release Date: March 3, 2023

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/ show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well there was nothing else . . .

1 Star – Total waste of time.

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