Film Review – Creed 3 (2023)

Title – Creed 3 (2023)

Director – Michael B. Jordan (feature debut) 

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

Plot – World renowned boxer Adonis Creed (Jordan) must come face to face with his past and future when he sets about preparing for a bout with long-time acquaintance Damian Anderson (Majors).   

“You can’t run from your past” 

Review by Eddie on 03/03/2023

Having now gone the distance for 9 rounds (9 feature films), it would be a safe bet to suspect that the Rocky/Creed franchise is well and truly out of gas, especially this time around, with Creed 3 becoming the first film in the series history to not feature Sylvester Stallone, but refusing to lay down on the canvas, Creed 3 delivers another predictable but undeniably fun entry into the brand that refuses to fail. 

We’ve had some wildly varied entries over the history of the Stallone created property but for his directorial debut, star turned overseer Michael B. Jordan delivers the goods as his Adonis Creed goes head to head against old time friend turned adversary Damian Anderson, with Jordan striking gold having rising star and hulking beast Jonathan Majors step into the ring as Anderson, one of the best new character entries into the Rocky film cannon since the original films burst onto the scene in the late 70’s and early 80’s. 

Taking over from Creed director Ryan Coogler and Creed 2 director Steven Caple Jr., Jordan does a great job at proving his individual doubters wrong and the films naysayers wrong at the same time with an energetic and fast-moving cliche ridden sports drama that ticks off all the major boxes we would suspect (epic training montage included, this time with a sufficient dose of hip-hop over Eye of the Tiger) but delivers them in a thoughtful way and Jordan and Major’s chemistry goes a long way in covering over any chances we had of not getting involved in this friends turned enemies bout. 

An important aspect of Jordan’s successful directional debut is his managing of the films boxing scenes, there’s not an abundance here, but when they hit they hit hard and Creed 3 sees a continuation of the Creed series ability to make the most of its time in the ring, even though they are often more focused outside of it.

While there’s no such individual moment of jaw-dropping structure such as Creed’s one take boxing bout, Jordan’s love for anime and the boxing craft as a whole combine to throw some memorable punches, that includes a brilliantly designed moment in the ring where the crowd disappears around our fighters and we are allowed to take everything in in a way we have rarely done on film before when it comes to boxing. 

Without ever trying to produce anything in a plot or character sense we don’t expect, if you allow yourself to just enjoy the ride our recently retired hero takes here against a fearsome and determined opponent, Creed 3 becomes yet another against the odds success story for a brand name that has for all intents and purposes been knocked out cold, only to rise from the canvas to become on the best examples of the sporting drama genre, that based off this effort appears set to fight a few more rounds too come. 

Final Say – 

Showing a dogged determination to keep on punching, Creed 3 is a surprisingly strong debut effort from Michael B. Jordan, while the increasingly impressive Jonathan Major’s proves once more his on the path to superstardom. For old time fans and newbies alike, Creed 3 is a crowd-pleasing winner that sticks to the formula in all the right ways. 

3 1/2 record label parties out of 5   

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