The highs and lows of ‘Creed III’


The Adonis Creed we all know and love, the strong-minded, pride-driven champion following his father’s shadow is not the same Adonis Creed we meet at the start of the third installment of the Creed series, Creed III.                                  

Starting off with some history in the Rocky/Creed franchise. Adonis Creed is the son of Apollo Creed, the main antagonist of Rocky I and Rocky II, and also appears in Rocky III and Rocky IV. As you may or may not know, Rocky is the main protagonist, played by Sylvester Stallone, who appears in every Rocky and Creed movie, except for Creed III. This is due to a battle over the rights to the franchise, with his longtime enemy Irwin Winkler.

Some notable actors in this film

Michael B Jordan-Adonis Creed

Jonathan Majors-Dame

Tessa Tomphson-Bianca(Creed’s Wife)

Mila Davis-Kent-Amara Creed(daughter)

Phylicia Rashad-Mary Anne Creed

Jose Benavidez Jr-Felix Chavez

Creed III starts off with a flashback, showing us a young Adonis Creed and soon-to-be antagonist, Damian Anderson. Creed and Damian grew up together like brothers, with Creed basically being Damian’s sidekick when they were younger. Creed sneaks out of his house. Shortly after, Damian pulls up and they head their way to Damian’s fight. What I find the most interesting about the director’s throwing us 18 years back is that we get to see the backstory of both characters. Creed 18 years ago was the one carrying Dame’s bag and being his corner coach. Dame was on his way to stardom as one of the heaviest-hitting boxing prospects. Obviously, we see those roles have switched, not hearing about Dame until 18 years later, due to him being put in jail. This is because of what happened the night of Dame’s fight. 

Shortly after Dame knocks his opponent out in the first round, the two highly energetic young men go on a car ride on the way to the convenience store to celebrate Dame’s finish. Dame talks about what he’s going to buy with the money he won, and Creed gets visibly upset that he is not at the position Dame is in. When they get to the convenience store, Adonis gets out of the car ecstatic after Damian’s win. This is where we see Adonis recognize someone who is later revealed as his old abusive foster parent, Leon.  Adonis beats Leon up for several shots. and then we are dropped in the middle of a fight Adonis is having against Ricky Conlan. It is later revealed that Dame was jailed for protecting Adonis after Leon’s people came to help Leon, Dame pulls out a gun, and Adonis runs off. One of the main reasons Dame says he wants to fight Adonis later on. What I find the most interesting about this opening scene is the difference in the characters at the beginning. The way Adonis and Damian’s mindsets were completely different at the time, with Damian basically being the Adonis creed we know now and Adonis being a regular kid. I also enjoyed the way we see Adonis enter fatherhood in this movie. The idea of Michael B. Jordan as a father in a movie looks amazing on paper, and looks even better on the screen. The use of sign language in the movie was also stellar, limiting the use of vocal expressions and increasing the use of silent communication was amazing and I personally loved those moments.

The fighting scenes are always a big part in the Rocky/Creed franchise, but the way Michael B. Jordan, who directed the majority of the shots in this movie, implemented techniques he’s seen from other forms of media was perfect. There was a part in the first fight where Creed was intentionally taking hits from Ricky, trying to figure out an opening. When he found that opening, the camera slowly moved to dramatize the moment, showing that he had found the opening and the next round, he used it to his advantage. There are many events like that in the movie where the movement is slowed and the sound inside the ring is enhanced. One specific point in the movie-spoiler free-where it was the final fight and everything went quiet, the crowd disappeared, the sounds of the gloves making contact was so heavy hitting. It was one of the few emotional moments in the movie because you could feel everything, you felt the drive of Dame and Creed and how much they both wanted it.

I would say that Creed III is the best in the trilogy but it’s definitely not a bad movie at all. There were times where the scenes and plot felt rushed but that is really the only flaw I can think of. Overall this movie was a masterpiece as always and I loved Michael B Jordan as a director, if he hasn’t already he really showed how talented he is across all aspects with this film. Creed III is now available to rent on many streaming platforms.