Eight years ago, Ryan Coogler’s “Creed” took the world by storm. Many considered the film to be wildly entertaining and full of heart, while also being worthy of the legacy of the “Rocky” franchise.
Two sequels later, the franchise doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In fact, thanks to first time director Michael B. Jordan, it may have reached its peak.
“Creed III” is yet another successful entry to the franchise that expertly builds on the titular character in predictable, but ultimately satisfying new ways, trading in the Rocky Balboa story for a Creed-centric tale.
Michael B. Jordan turns in yet another astounding performance as Adonis Creed. His maturity as a performer is exemplified through Creed’s growth as a character — he maintains his status as one of the most promising actors of this generation.
His talent in front of the camera is overshadowed only by his skill behind the camera. “Creed III” is a massively impressive directorial debut for Jordan, breathing new life into the franchise with a unique approach to action and character.
While sometimes distracting and a bit hamfisted, the innovation within the boxing sequences is admirable to say the least, culminating in a predictable, but emotionally resonant final act.
Jonathan Majors also brings great intensity to the film with an astounding antagonistic presence. Much like Jordan, he further proves himself to be a powerful performer, with a sympathetic yet consistently intimidating performance, forcing the audience to question their own morality.
While this is far from the first film within the Rocky franchise to have a layered antagonist, I believe that Major’s Damian Anderson is one of the best in the bunch.
“Creed III” is more than worthy of its namesake. It lives up to the original 2015 film in nearly every way and rivals even the best of the Rocky films.
Jordan and his team understand what makes this franchise special. The endless montages and pulsating musical cues are present as usual, but this film has no qualms with digging a bit deeper into the themes of endurance and heart in the face of adversity: the core of these films since 1976.
Whether inside or outside of the ring, “Creed III” packs a punch.
“Creed III” is playing in theaters nationwide.