AV Brew: Creed III
Is this sequel worth your time?
In Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, he takes over the Rocky franchise from Sylvester Stallone. For such a well-loved franchise, this is a huge undertaking. Can he move the story of Adonis Creed forward? Will the new direction live up to the original films?
From IMDB: After dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed has been thriving in both his career and family life. When 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 face-off between former friends is more than just a fight.
When I saw the trailer a few months ago, I thought the story would be about the events that lead to Adonis being in a juvenile facility at the start of Creed. I was wrong, the inciting incident is from Adonis’ teen years and how it reverberated into his adulthood. The film is about black men, their anger, their unresolved trauma, their family, and their friendships. Themes we don’t often see on screen. Boxing is merely a backdrop of the film.
The story and screenplay were written by Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin with input from Ryan Coogler and are superb. We were dropped into the middle of this long relationship. Given the seriousness of the plotline, I love that the script was peppered with some laughs. Nothing about it felt contrived or forced. Not one second of the 1 hour and 47-minute runtime was wasted. From the title of the film, you know it’s going to end with a “championship bout”. The film will include a training montage and a fight. I loved that this part of the film happens in the half hour of the film.
This is the third film in recent months where Johnathon Majors is in a lead role and would continue to watch him take up space on the screen. He imbues Damian with the exact right mix of melancholy, vengeance, and menace. The chemistry with Jordan is there, it’s easy to believe they were long-lost friends. In a recent interview, Major stated he wants to do a romantic comedy, someone please write the script and start shooting it.
Also, Tessa Thompson is back as Bianca Creed, Adonis’ wife, and their now 8-year-old Amara is played by Mila Davis-Kent. Phylicia Rashad also returns as Mary Ann, Adonis’ adopted mother The importance of family to Adonis is also threaded throughout the film. The internet force feeds the dysfunctionality of black families its refreshing to see such a strong, supporting, loving family on screen.
Jordan did a wonderful job directing. His eye captured all the emotions the script demanded. He took the time to pay homage to the original Rocky films and the movie feels a part of the canon. If I had any issues with the movie, it would be an editing decision made in the first act that I expected to see in the last act. It was not there.
We often talk about how representation matters. This film hits the nail on the head. It’s important that the primary focus is the relationship between two black men, I could see any two people as the primary characters. I had not watched Creed II so I was unaware that their daughter was hearing-impaired. I love that a hearing-impaired actress was cast, and that sign language was used as fluidly by the cast members. There is also a Latinx actor and his mother transition between English and Spanish with ease throughout the film.
We want a sequel to further the story of the protagonist, Creed III excels in this manner. Everything comes together flawlessly. Run don’t walk to see Creed III when it’s released on March 3, 2023.
Thank you, Allied Marketing, for the tickets.
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