Film review: Creed III starring Michael B. Jordan

Creed III is an upcoming sports drama film directed by Michael B. Jordan, who also stars in the lead role as Adonis Creed. The film is the third instalment in the Creed franchise out now. The movie is an intense and emotional journey as Adonis Creed faces his toughest opponent yet. The strap-line is ‘You can’t run from your past’. At cinemas near you, but getting to an IMAX would be even better.

creed III movie poster 2023 showing michael b jorden in the boxing ring

The story

After dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed has been thriving in both his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damian, resurfaces after serving a long sentence in prison, he is eager to prove that he deserves his shot in the ring.

The story revolves around Adonis Creed as he prepares for his next big fight against a formidable opponent. This time, however, he is not only fighting for himself but also for his family, including his young deaf daughter. The stakes are higher than ever, and the pressure to succeed is immense. Adonis has to balance his personal and professional life, while also dealing with the aftermath of past events.

 

The trailer

The verdict

A boxing movie in the tradition of Rocky, it gives the powerful black cast a chance to celebrate boxing as their own art form. Although Stallone appears in Creed II, he’s been written out of III, as if to say Michael B. Jordan has arrived in his own right. He not only stars, but also directs and produces this movie. He has presumably dictated the shot where he jogs effortlessly up on to the crest of the famous ‘HOLLYWOOD’ hill, just to make it clear, in case anyone hadn’t worked it out, this is a tribute to himself and his success.

The characters are well acted and represent the extremes of poverty and wealth which America seems to glorify. These worlds collide, creating tension, but through boxing, a solution is arrived at. The boxing scenes are very convincing, with slo-mo jaw-blows, natural fight choreography and great make-up. Their rippling heavy-weight torsos provide a bit of relief from all the crunch and thrust.

It’s got subtlety too; the main chatacter lives in a loving, stable marriage in a sumptuous home, where he listens to advice from his emotionally aware wife, and a deaf daughter on whom he lavishes his time, energy and good-humour. How autobiographical is this? Or is it his idealised version of himself, you sit there wondering. There’s a boxing lesson between father and daughter, where he tells her it’s not about strength, but timing and focus. His daughter idolises him and dreams of being a boxer too, suggesting Jordan could be planning a sequel starring a black female boxer, symbolising the arrival of gender and racial parity?

Thanks to the stunning IMAX big screen and sound quality, the sound-track exploded with the drama as the fr-enemies slugged it out, with deep, loud, urban rhythms, and famous rap songs. Big on action and menace, it is short on humour; the audience laughed once, but due to their accents, I missed the joke unfortunately.

One of the highlights of the movie is the strong emotional themes it explores. The film touches on the complexities of family relationships, loyalty, and legacy. Adonis is not only fighting for his own legacy but also for the legacy of his father, the legendary boxer Apollo Creed. His struggle to live up to his father’s name and expectations is a central theme that adds depth to the story.

The film also introduces a new antagonist, played by Jonathan Majors, who brings a menacing presence to the screen. Majors’ character is a skilled boxer who has a personal vendetta against Adonis and is determined to take him down. This creates a sense of tension and anticipation, making the fight scenes all the more exciting.

The fight scenes themselves are expertly choreographed and filmed. They are intense and visceral, with each blow feeling impactful and real. The film’s use of sound and music during these scenes is particularly effective, immersing the audience in the action and adding to the tension.

Aside from the main plot, the film also delves into the personal lives of the supporting characters. Tessa Thompson returns as Bianca, Adonis’ partner and mother to his child. Bianca’s struggle with her own career and health issues adds depth to her character, making her more than just a love interest. The film also introduces a new trainer for Adonis, played by Phylicia Rashad, who provides a strong maternal presence and brings a new perspective to the story.

London Mums’ rating: 7/10

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