Creed 3 Review: Best of the Bunch

The Rockyverse (is that it’s name?) added it’s latest installment last night with the release of Creed III. The movies follows the story of Adonis Creed, son of Apollo, and his rise through the heavyweight division. Today, we are going to take some time to drop a review on Creed 3 and see what it did good, what wasn’t so go, and so on.

Major spoilers ahead for those who have not seen the movie. Reader beware!

Creed 3: The best of the three Creed movies

With a cast including Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, and Jonathan Majors, it was almost impossible for Creed 3 to miss. From the very start of the movie, we get the feeling we are going to be in for a great ride. Michael B. Jordan is at home in his role of Adonis Creed. He takes it very serious and is his best performance. Creed 3 only adds to that.

We get some information early on that Adonis Creed has retired as a boxer and vacated his titles. Now a promoter, Creed is looking at promotion his new heavyweight champion: Felix Chavez played by professional boxer Jose Benavidez Jr. Coming back into Creed’s life is Damian Anderson, a friend just released from prison and looking to reconnect with a dark past.

Creed and Anderson, also nicknamed Dame, connect and Dame makes it clear that he thinks Creed is living what should have been his life and wants to box. Creed agrees to take Dame in and let him train at his gym. One thing leads to another and Dame ends up fighting Felix Chavez for the belt and winning, pulling Creed out of retirement due to unresolved issues and a feud between the two that has been brewing for almost 20 years.

What makes Creed 3 so good?

Creed 3 absolutely nails what it’s supposed to be. The original Rocky movie wasn’t about a boxer, it was about overcoming odds and dealing with poverty. The movie wasn’t about being a boxer which was apparent when Rocky lost to Apollo Creed instead of winning. Rocky still won at life in that moment.

For Creed 3, our theme was guilt, resentment and the issue with men where emotions aren’t spoken about. The latest Creed installment absolutely nails that notion. While Adonis Creed is living in luxury in Hollywood with a beautiful family, an amazing house, and retired as the champion, Dame Anderson returns and brings back terrible memories to Adonis that really put him in Anderson’s shoes knowing that it could have been him instead of Anderson.

We see Anderson, poor and 18 years out of jail, without the same social skills as the Creed family’s lavish lifestyle. He’s a fish out of water and Creed knows he was once not as successful and rich as he was. This brings back a lot of grief for Adonis and it’s the driving motivation for the story for Creed 3.

What we got right

Creed 3 absolutely nailed the story. The acting chops of Jordan, Majors and Thompson are barre none and the three are some of the best in the world. After seeing Ant-Man: Quantamania just a few short months ago, it’s wild to see the range of abilities Jonathan Majors possesses in his acting tool belt.

In Creed 3, Majors shows great range. In fact, I want to go on record and say that he truly steals the show. Majors comes out of prison and is regretful, scared and timid. Throughout the movie, we go from that, to someone motivated, someone on top of the world as champion, and someone in a moment of weakness and defeat. Majors’ range is truly incredible in general and even more so in the single

The fight scenes in Creed 3 were also quite good. While there are some moments that require suspension of belief, seeing the sweat on Creed’s back get punched off him with a gut punch in slow motion was fantastic. Majors played a power puncher who didn’t truly know how to box. His fight scenes showed just that. He was unpolished and fought different, in a way boxers don’t traditionally do. Adonis was and he used head movement, the jab, and much more in the traditional boxer’s ruleset to show his skills.

In the final fight between Creed and Dame, there’s a major part where the stadium goes “empty” and it’s just the two boxers fighting in the ring. It’s near silent. We hear their breathing and the hard punches being landed. This was an artistic addition that was pure perfection. It was dark, and we saw the good guy, Creed, in white and the bad guy, Dame, in black trunks. This decision to have the two fight in a “silent” stadium makes the final fight more impactful and better. It’s the crown jewel of the movie and the crescendo of what has been coming the entire time.

The fan service in the movie was also quite good. Viktor Drago, played by Florian Munteanu, made a couple appearances and we actually saw that he and Creed were casual friends despite the bad blood between the two’s families. That was very refreshing to see. There was Benavidez, as mentioned earlier, Canelo made an appearance, Tony Bellew returned as his Ricky Conlan from the first Creed, as well as Bud Crawford, Stitch, Kenny Bayless, Todd Grisham, David Diamante, Tony Weeks, Stephen A. Smith, and many more from the boxing world.

Any misses?

So was there anything bad in Creed 3? In all honesty, there’s not much. While I am going to list some things in this section, it’s of minimal impact and I’ll try not to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

In the first fight of the movie, Adonis Creed is rematching Ricky Conlan from the two’s first movie. The camera work in that section looked off. It almost seemed CGIed but not well done. I don’t know if that was a late addition to the movie and the producers sent it out to a company to do last minute or if it was just off putting. CGI or not it took me out of the movie a bit and made me question what was going on.

Next, the soundtrack wasn’t as good as the first two. I don’t think anything will beat the first movie. It truly encapsulated what a Rocky movie was about in a new wave era of the franchise. This movie had some fantastic hits on it like Adonis Interlude featuring J Cole. But it didn’t quite grab me and get me as excited for the scenes as the other movies have done.

Creed 3 Rating: 8.5/10

Creed 3 was a great movie and one that anyone can go to the theaters to enjoy, a boxing fan or not. The story in itself was a deeper one than you’d expect from a boxing movie but long time fans of the Rocky franchise will know that there are much deeper things at play.

The movie fully encapsulates the boxing aura as well without making it too basic. The movie follows the typical Rocky formula, sure, but that’s what you go to see a Rocky movie for. This one gets an 8.5/10. It’s par the course and not as groundbreaking as a moviegoer will like.

But Rocky fans will enjoy the small universe the producers have cultivated with Creed, Drago, and now Anderson. It’s already known that Creed 4 is in the works and a Drago spinoff is in development. Now we move on and hopefully we get more of Majors, Jordan, and Munteanu in the future in spinoffs and the like. Drago vs. Dame anyone?


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