Creed’s knockout return

Creed III heralds a new era for the Rocky franchise, says Times Film Reviewer Matthew Dann…


I was looking forward to seeing this film − not because I am the biggest fan of boxing movies, but because it was Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut.

Having seen Jordan star in various movies, including the other Creed films, I was curious as to how he would go about directing one.

In the latest instalment, Adonis Creed transitions from being a world champion into retirement. When an ‘old friend’ and former boxing prodigy returns, they are destined to meet in the ring in a very personal grudge match.

Michael B. Jordan reprises his role as Adonis Creed, and the antagonist, Damian Anderson, is brilliantly played by Jonathan Majors. Throughout the film, the tension feels very real, as does the angst and resentment. In fact, it feels as if their tensions are personal, and extend beyond the boundaries of the film.

This film is well-crafted and blends glitzy and somewhat over-glamourised boxing montages with very realistic and, at times, gritty drama. Over the course of the film, the source of the angst between the two characters reveals itself.

All of the other actors are adept in their roles, and the script and editing are tight – no character or scene feels out of place. One notable omission from the film is Sylvester Stallone. Diehard fans of the franchise are sure to regard this as a black mark against
the film.

But for me, the film felt better as a result of Stallone’s exclusion. It’s nice to witness a new era: Rocky reborn, if you will. It offers a fresh and new style that carries the film well. The only drawback is the character development. Compared to the previous instalments, it feels somewhat stagnant. Still, this film is a very worthy follow up to its predecessors.

Overall, I think this film is a worthwhile watch. There are some touching moments and scenes that will make you emotional, while others will get your adrenaline pumping. Michael B. Jordan has done a fantastic job.

Creed III has multiple showings at the Odeon Tunbridge Wells.

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