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Creed III
A fine enough trilogy capper, though not really satisfying.

Creed III

Release Date: March 3, 2023
Runtime: 01:56
Synopsis:
Adonis has been thriving in both his career and family life, but when a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy resurfaces, the face-off is more than just a fight.

Adonis Creed is forced to confront his past in . After retiring on top after beating his old rival Ricky Conlan (Tony Bellew) for the undisputed championship in South Africa, Adonis Creed () retires as an active boxer and focuses on training and promoting at his gym along with Tony “Little Duke” Evers Jr. (). However, Adonis is surprised by the reemergence of his childhood friend Damian Anderson (), who has just been released after spending 18 years in prison. The two catch up, and Damian is invited for dinner at the house of Adonis and his wife Bianca (). However, it soon becomes apparent that Damian is envious of Adonis having the boxing career he never had. The two soon become rivals for Adonis' return to the ring.

Creed III Synopsis

Creed III is the third chapter of the Rocky reboot franchise and the directorial debut of Michael B. Jordon, taking over for Ryan Coogler, who is still on board as a producer. The film is also the first in the franchise without as Rocky Balboa, with Stallone opting not to return due to both creative differences over the direction of the story and a conflict with franchise producer Irwin Winkler, who long ago acquired the rights from Stallone before the franchise became a hit.

As such, Creed III is the first film in this rebooted franchise to focus solely on Adonis Creed, who lives a seemingly happy retirement life with his wife Bianca and their deaf daughter Amara (Mila Davis-Kent). However, Adonis has to face his past with the return of Damian Anderson, who grew up with Adonis in a group home. When Damian uses dirty tricks to get into and win a world title match, Adonis realizes that he has been played for a fool, and his rivalry with Damian soon enters the ring.

My Thoughts on Creed III

As the presumably final chapter of a trilogy, Creed III is a fine enough film that doesn't deviate too much from the franchise's formula, save for a surreal sequence during the climatic boxing match. However, the film is greatly missing the presence of Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, whose mentorship of Adonis Creed was one of the keys to making this reboot work. The film barely mentions Rocky, featuring Tony “Little Duke” Evers Jr. as Adonis' primary trainer.

While no fault of Jonathan Majors, who gives a solid performance, I do have to criticize the characterization of the antagonist Damian Anderson. Damian is initially portrayed in a sympathetic light as a boxing prodigy who never got to live his dreams after a nearly two-decade jail sentence. However, after winning a title bout against Adonis-trained fighter Felix Chavez (Jose Benavidez), Damien turns into a more one-dimensional villain, accusing Adonis of abandoning him and stealing the life he wanted.

This leads to Adonis Creed coming out of retirement to face Damian Anderson in the ring. The result is pretty much what you would expect, save for the aforementioned surreal touches late in the match. While there are (not so) subtle hints that this franchise can continue in other ways years have done to the road, it's probably safe to say that Creed III is the conclusion to the Adonis Creed story. That said, I can't really say I was left satisfied or clamouring for more. Instead, I end up shrugging my shoulders.

Trailer for Creed III

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How to Watch Creed III

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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