Review: Creed III (2023)


An impressive directorial debut from Michael B. Jordan caps off a superb trilogy.

  • 8

I have always been a fan of the Rocky franchise and I have loved every addition to the story of Adonis Creed in recent years. Before fully getting into Creed III, I think it is worth mentioning the elephant in the room (or perhaps more fittingly the elephant NOT in the room) as Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa does not appear here at all for the first time in the franchise. Of course, I missed him as he is one of my favourite characters in all of cinema. However, having now seen the film, I don’t think it would have worked the same way with him in it. There were struggles here in Adonis’ past that perhaps Rocky’s wisdom and influence may have helped him too much with. It means that the irrationality of this film would not have made as much sense. 

The opening scene was great, detailing the backstory of the relationship between Adonis and Damien and reminding me how great Dr Dre’s song ‘The Watcher’ is. Damien is played marvellously by Johnathan Majors who looks to have a serious future in Hollywood. Even at Damien’s most despicable, he was entertaining and was impossible to completely hate due to his sad background.  

I also really liked the tender scenes between Adonis and his daughter Amara. I would not be surprised if there is a film with her at the helm being trained by her father in the future. They were definitely setting something up in the background of this film. 

The film was shot in IMAX and the fight scenes, in particular, were insane on the big screen. I heard before that Jordan was a big fan of anime and seeing how he incorporated this into his fights with the likes of slow-motion and flashbacks, as well as things I do not want to spoil, were very interesting. Whilst not everything was my preference over other ways I have seen it done, it was great to see a level of innovation to a franchise with lots of previous entries. He is clearly a talented director and I look forward to seeing where he goes next. 

The film can feel formulaic, but what a formula! It is another incredibly infectious film that made me want to run to the nearest boxing gym and get sparring myself. The training montages always hit and the final one before the fight NEVER disappoints. This felt like a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, they may go somewhere else with it, likely with Adonis moving further into a mentor role as I stated earlier, but for now this was a nice ending to his story. I’m glad it is doing well and people are seeing it, it deserves to be watched on the big screen. 


About Author

Third year film student. Lover of cinema. Bojack Horseman and Succession enthusiast. Likely creating a list on Letterboxd as you're reading this.

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