Lauren Wong | The Poly Post

Review: ‘Creed III’ strays from the old into the new

By Matthew Acosta, March 21, 2023

Michael B. Jordan made his directorial debut with the highly anticipated third installment of the Creed series, Creed III.  

The film’s overall feel gave a mix of both the first Creed film following Adonis Creed’s early life and how he came to be where he is now. The deep-rooted ties to the first Rocky film built anticipation throughout the film for an inevitable fight. 

With both Jordan and Creed co-star, Tessa Thompson focusing on expanding their roles beyond the franchise given their rise in success, the potential for this film had been small after the second film.  Another notable character missing from the film was Sylvester Stallone who has stated his disdain for the franchise’s producer Irwin Winkler.  

The film introduces Jonathan Majors character Damien Anderson to the series to tie back Creed’s past to his present day.    

This film adds to Major’s repertoire with his major roles in this movie, along with his role as Kang the Conqueror in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  

The film kept together one of the major elements of both Creed and Rocky films with the soundtrack leading the emotions of the movie. Though the series did not retain Ludwig Göransson, they brought on Joseph Shirley to score the film.  

The fighting styles throughout the film was inspired by Jordan’s love of anime and the way he enjoyed seeing fight scenes portrayed.  

This element of changing the way the boxing matches were shot instead of an aerial view in a traditional boxing match that someone watches on tv, to a film style fit that put the audience in the ring and focused in on both fighters in a way that the franchise has never done before. 

The film franchise has always been shot to mirror a real boxing match, but this movie was done completely differently by putting the audience in the ring and emphasizing a deeper meaning in each fight throughout the film.  

This movie introduced Adonis and Bianca’s daughter, Amara, born at the end of the second Creed film.  

In the first film, we learn that Bianca Creed suffers from progressive hearing loss, which is later revealed in Creed II to be hereditary and passed on to Amara who was born deaf.  

Adding this to the film was very unique and it showed a different side of living with a disability and even showed that Amara struggles with some of the same temper issues as her father does.  

There were many aspects of the promotion for the film that I feel hindered the overall viewership. By watching the trailers leading up to the film, it said most fans were already aware of what the plot would be.  

This issue was reminiscent of the 1976 original Rocky film where all fans knew the boxing match between Rocky and Apollo Creed was inevitable but had to sit in anticipation during the world-building stage of the film.  

A deleted scene from the second Creed film, that was released on YouTube, should have been left in the film, showing the comradery between Adonis Creed and Victor Drago, played a big role in this film. With that scene being left out many fans were left feeling confused after seeing the two being friends during this film without any explanation.  

The biggest way to make this film the most successful in the franchise would have been to follow the formula of the third Rocky film. Rather than simply tossing in Drago as a training partner, Creed should have sought out help from an old adversary.  

There were many tweaks that could have been made to the film overall but the introduction of shooting fight scenes differently along with the introduction of Anderson helped the franchise. Unfortunately, this film was a step down from the first.  

While a fourth Creed film could be in the Warner Bros’ plans, the direction of the series would likely leave me confused. Now that Adonis is retired, there are no younger characters introduced in the film for there to be an heir of sorts.   

Stallone has been open to a return to a fourth film if Winkler steps down, but for now, fans will be left in suspense about another film being in production.  

Feature image courtesy of Lauren Wong

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