Get ready to climb back in the ring and go twelve rounds for the title because Michael B. Jordan takes his biggest step up, performing double duty as actor and director, and Creed III packs one hell of a punch.
World heavyweight boxing champion Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) comes face-to-face with the harshness of his past in the form of a vicious new contender, Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors).
In 2015 the Rocky franchise was resurrected and taken into an exciting new direction with Creed, an all-new sports drama that sought to tell the story of Adonis Creed, the illegitimate son of Rocky Balboa’s former opponent turned best friend Apollo Creed and his rise as a professional fighter. In the years since we’ve seen Creed faced down his past and rise to the occasion as a champion. Now Michael B. Jordan is ready to take the Creed narrative to the next level, and he jumps behind the camera to direct this latest instalment that finds Adonis having to face the shadows of his past in a bout that will push him to the limit.
Michael B. Jordan approaches Creed III with a one-two combination as both star and director, and in watching this film, you feel his command of the character and intuitiveness that be brings to the story. It’s a big task for such a young performer to handle a blockbuster of this scale, but it becomes clear to audience that has grown up on film sets, Jordan has been taking notes, and this is his shot to show what he’s got. Where Creed and Creed II dealt with issues of legacy and the ramifications of what it meant to be the son of a champion, in Creed III we find Adonis Creed coming face-to-face with the violence of the past he thought he had run away from. And it’s a heavy hit for the character to take.
Jordan’s direction offers a new frame of perspective for the film to follow in. We see a different side to the character of Adonis Creed as he steps away from the fight world and instead focus on his duty as a husband and father. But no warrior ever truly leaves the edge behind, and Jordan’s Creed has to find his inner savage as he steps back into the ring. With a character and story that’s so personal to him, Jordan commits himself to the presentation of this picture and works to craft a story that has his own stamp of approval.
Facing down Jordan’s Adonis Creed is man of the moment Jonathan Majors as Damian ‘Dame’ Anderson, the dark shadow of Adonis’s past. And Majors is a literal beast in the role. Inspired by the presence of Mike Tyson, Majors’ Anderson was a once promising protege who lost out on his chance at the title and faced the inside of a jail cell for close to twenty years. He’s a broken, angry and brutal fighter who’ll do anything to get a shot at the title and quickly moves from friend to adversary in the narrative. Absolutely shredded and giving off a threatening vibe, Majors again proves why he’s one of the most in-demand talents working today. He holds the attention of his audience with his performance as Dame, and damn can he hit hard.
While boxing movies are a key part of the sports genre, Jordan changes it up with the fight choreography this time with emotion and theme having their part to play inside the fight. Channeling the idea of Adonis and Damian in the roles of warring brothers Abel and Caine, Jordan makes the fights of Creed III incredibly personal and packed together with vehemence. The bouts are rough, physical and violent, with plenty of pain thrown in for good measure. They’re packed full of hyper-realism, and in IMAX you feel the power of the punches. It’s incredibly stylistic on behalf of Jordan and takes influence from his love for anime in the presentation of the combat. Added in is a kick-ass soundtrack, and audiences will find plenty to groove about with Creed III.
Creed III packs a punch and gives Michael B. Jordan the chance to show that he’s got some moves behind the camera. With a full-on showdown and two actors who are ready to get in a brawl, this is a film that will keep audiences entertained.
Image: Warner Brothers Pictures