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Review: “Creed 3”delivers a knockout punch that succeeds in the ring

In Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, the actor shows promise as he gives audiences the best film in the series in decades with amazing performances and fights.

By Kevin Khachatryan, Staff Writer

(L-R) Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors face off in "Creed 3," which is now only in theaters ( Photo Courtesy of MGM)

“Creed 3” continues the legacy of Adonis Creed, delivering a winning punch on the big screen.

After defending the boxing championship belt against Victor Drago in Creed 2, Adonis has taken time off from the boxing world as he is a gym owner and is focused on thriving in his career and family life. When Damian (Jonathon Majors), a childhood friend and former boxing mastermind returns after spending 18 years in prison, Adonis must put his future on the line to battle Damian –– a fighter who has nothing to lose.

With a different director again for the third straight film, Michael B. Jordan makes his directorial debut., Jordan is both the star and behind the camera for the first time instead of Steven Caple Jr. displaying a dynamic eye for action. The actor-director also spoke about being greatly inspired by his love for anime cartoons growing up, and does a great job in the boxing scenes to highlight certain punches like a freeze-frame in Dragon Ball Z.

The film is a great follow up to the second one and caps of a great trilogy with a solid performance from Jonathon Majors, who has been getting a lot of attention these days because of his role as Kang in the MCU. But “Creed 3” is the most riveting he’s been in any of his past films.

The tone of the film is consistent and each act of the film progresses with heartfelt emotion and motivation that concludes the end of the trilogy. It is clear that this film continues to pay respect to the previous movies and still holds up really well on its own.

An impressive ensemble cast with Jordan and Majors leading the film as the two fighters shine the brightest in the ring. The conflict is once again personal for Creed as he chooses to fight his long-time best friend to put a stop to Dame’s quest for vengeance.

While this was the first time that a Rocky film or spin-off was left absent with Sylvester Stalone, due to disagreeing with the tone and storytelling of the film. Jordan carries on the torch in an appropriate way.

Damian Anderson played by Majors is arguably the best antagonist that Adonis has ever fought in this trilogy. Dam is a wounded, tragic figure who rarely says what’s on his mind, but his anguished and intimidation in every interaction he has with Jordan brings fear into the ring. Anderson is also fleshed-out as a character where audiences can understand where he comes from and his motives because of the guilt, tragedy, and regret that he feels towards Jordan.

When it comes time for the climactic showdown between these two warriors, Jordan makes some glaring stylistic choices in terms of the sound design, camera movements and visual effects. Every punch thrown in the final fight is done masterfully as audiences watching can feel the impact and tension in each punch thrown. It is clear that both Jordan and Majors trained very hard for their respective roles, showing great genuine fighting skills and being boxing champions in their own rights.

Joe Shirley composed the music for the film, rather than Ludwig Goransson, who made one of the best training sequences and motivation scenes in Creed 2.

Shirley brought a few callbacks to the original Rocky movies and some fresh ones that flew well in the film. The heartfelt moments pump up audiences for what's to come with the characters and adds pure heart to the overall feature.

Where “Creed 3” falls as most of the Rocky films have is that all the films are too predictable and do not drift too far from the familiar format of a “Rocky” movie. But seeing Adonis build his own legacy apart from Rocky Balboa brings an exciting new chapter for the series.

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