Jonathan Majors has been on a tear lately. From The Last Black Man in San Francisco and Lovecraft Country to Loki and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Now he has teamed up with Michael B. Jordan for Creed III, and while his performance is top-notch as expected, he’s not the best performer in this film. Let’s take a closer look at our review of Creed III.
As Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, he absolutely hits the ground running with Creed III. While fans will debate if this is the best Creed film, or if it’s the original Creed (sorry Creed II fans), the debate will happen, and that’s what really matters here. It’s not a perfect film, but there are a lot of interesting choices that propel it forward and place it above many other boxing movies.
Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) has reached a different point in his life compared to the first two films. He’s living the good life with his wife Bianca (Tessa Thompson), and his daughter Amara (Mila Davis-Kent). Things are easy for him now as his company, Creed Athletics, has a stable of solid fighters, including the current heavyweight champion. Meanwhile, Bianca’s career as a music producer is also going well. But when Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors), an old friend from the past comes back into his life, things get shaken up.
What makes Creed III really stand out is the fact that many of the boxing scenes were inspired by anime. Michael B. Jordan doesn’t hide his love for anime, which even inspired the look of Killmonger in the first Black Panther film. If you’ve seen Hajime no Ippo, it’s very clear how that anime changed the way Creed III filmed boxing sequences, and it definitely works. You will be dodging punches in your seat. It works so well that it’s time we had a live-action Hajime no Ippo, although it would probably fail since live-action anime is never done right, which means Creed III may be the closest we’ll ever come to that.
This is arguably Michael B. Jordan’s best performance as Adonis Creed, but the character is lacking in his story for Creed III. One of the big highlights of Rocky and Creed has been the struggle of the main characters. There’s generally a physical challenge that has to be overcome, as well as a mental challenge. While the physical challenge is still there in Creed III, the mental challenge really is lacking.
Creed feels that he abandoned Damian, but without spoiling too much, that isn’t well-established in the film. The movie moves quickly but doesn’t really go anywhere in terms of character development. Adonis and Damien both have some difficult moments, but never once is it believable that Adonis might lose the next fight. And that’s the biggest issue with the film, there are no surprises, at all.
We all know Creed isn’t going to lose in the end, or at least that’s the assumption going in. When this is paired with the fact that there isn’t much of a challenge presented throughout the movie, that makes it a little less enjoyable. While there’s still entertainment to be had, you’re not on the edge of your seat, and you don’t ever really question how the movie will play out.
Creed III is an entertaining boxing film, and possibly the best of the Creed franchise, but don’t go in expecting anything new. Aside from the anime-inspired boxing matches, which are fantastic, very little will surprise you about the film. The performances are great, and the boxing is great, it just needed a little more to challenge Adonis Creed and his way of life. With that said, Michael B. Jordan is a very capable director, who will likely do big things in the industry moving forward.
About Creed III
Synopsis: Adonis has been thriving in both his career and family life, but when a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy resurfaces, the face-off is more than just a fight.
Director: Michael B. Jordan
Writers: Keenan Coogler, Zach Baylin, Ryan Coogler
Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors
Runtime: 1 Hour, 56 Minutes
Releases: March 3, 2023
Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.