Creed III (2023) Review

Profoundly Satisfying


Creed III may lack Sylvester Stallone but it still stands tall on its own two feet with winning performances from Jordan and Majors; the fight scenes are intense and the story is engaging and will hopefully continue to inspire younger generations as the previous Rocky/Creed films have done.

Plot: Still dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed is thriving in his career and family life. When Damian, a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy resurfaces after serving time in prison, he’s eager to prove that he deserves his shot in the ring. The face-off between former friends is more than just a fight. To settle the score, Adonis must put his future on the line to battle Damian — a fighter who has nothing to lose.

Review: I’ll admit although I’ve been curious about Creed III I was less interested in it without Sylvester Stallone’s involvement as Rocky; he was key to the previous movies and without Rocky I was unsure how much I would care about the story. Once you swallow that pill and accept that the series has moved on (which I’ll admit is difficult considering Sly created it) Creed III is arguably one of the best films in the franchise. Rocky is referenced several times and *minor spoiler alert* we never find out if he is alive or dead so he can still be out there spending his retirement with his family.

This movie is entirely about Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) and him trying to deal with past demons; he is filled with guilt about abandoning his friend Damien (Jonathan Majors) many years before and the story is about their relationship when Dame comes back into Adonis’ life after 18 years behind bars.

The performances here are faultless with Jonathan Majors once again proving he is one of the most exciting actors working in movies today. He can be sympathetic and vulnerable one moment and then utterly ferocious the next; Dame is one of my favourite antagonists of the franchise as we can fully understand his motivations and he is by no means a one dimensional villain. We understand why he is filled with anger and he’s justified for his feelings towards Adonis.

As we all know this is directed by Michael B. Jordan who has proven himself quite the talent not only as an actor but the fight scenes in Creed III are some of the franchise’s best and as has been mentioned in interviews Jordan based them on his love for anime. This gives the fights a fresh new spin and they are beautifully shot where we feel like we are right in there in the thick of the action.

This is a film I think many of us can relate to as we’ve all had friendships that went sour especially when we were younger and the themes of trying to move on stuck with me.

In terms of flaws I did miss seeing Stallone even in a small capacity as this was his baby so it’s strange to not see him in any way; I also miss hearing Gonna Fly Now during the training scenes. The montages are still inspiring and uplifting even if they never reach the lofty heights of Rocky IV which incidentally is still best training montage of all-time.

Overall, Creed III is a winner; it may lack Rocky’s presence but it still has the same inspirational tone to it with stellar performances from both Jordan and Majors and a story that will resonate with many of us in the audience. It’s emotional with a believable story and characters that feel authentic making it one of the best of the franchise.