Creed III Movie Review
Scoring 7 out of 10
The third installment to the Creed franchise took a lot of risks directorially with the debut of Michael B. Jordan leading the charge. Overall the movie was executed very well. The lessons learned by Jordan were on full display. He proves that he is a worthy student and a future talent of the art. Being that this was a test of how well a movie based on the Rocky Universe would not feature Rocky, having him barely mentioned, is everything. This was truly a Creed movie. That is a weird thing to say since this is the third one but knowing that a boxing film with Rocky characters does not need Rocky means that there is more story that can be told. Sylvester Stallone is getting older and will not be available forever. The fact that he is not on good terms with the current rights holder has left him plenty upset. But let's be honest, even Stallone admitted that he never considered a Creed film till Koogler approached him with the idea. This property could have happened without him but his being involved with the first two films did help give credibility to the franchise and now it looks like the project is out of the infancy stage, out of the house, and entering adulthood.
For me, this movie, unlike the first two felt like an alternative universe. The way the story was made with a more personal touch hit me a lot differently. This exact same story could have just as well been a prequel for Apollo Creed based in the early 70s set before Creed ever met Rocky. Again, having Stallone as the new Mick, mentor figure played well in the first film. Taking on the son of the man he failed to save in Rocky IV later became a vengeance story by Creed II that was just more for Rocky than Adonis. With Johnathan Majors playing Damian Anderson, an old friend from Adonis's past that was more like a big brother figure comes to take his place in boxing legend Damian feels was meant for him over or at the least before Adonis. The fight had a deeper meaning that was just as effective as the first 2 Rocky films.
The thing I found most connecting, was that this was also a move about black men not coming to terms with their past traumas, not admitting a need to focus on mental healing, and not letting giving up the ghosts from the past. The choreography of the fights was impressive, with the anime element that worked in a way to express the fighter's inner turmoil but I would not like to see it become a trend with Jordon's future projects in fear of it becoming too hoky.
Seeing where the franchise can move forward has peaked interest because, without going into details, it feels like a possible Million Dollar Baby situation for the Creed family that could also be a nod to Muhammad Ali and his daughter Laila. I would not mind seeing Rocky return but if we do not I believe the franchise is headed in a better direction now and look forward to more.