Film & Theater The Arts

Review: Creed III

Ally Henny

Creed III isn’t your average sequel; it feels like a superhero origin story. This was exactly what Director Michael B. Jordan was going for. 

“I wanted this film to feel like an origin story and a sequel in one,” says Jordan. Creed III marks Jordan’s directorial debut. 

The movie follows protagonist Adonis Creed as he contends with the challenges of parenthood, late young adulthood, marriage, mental health, a shifting career path, an aging parent, and the demons of his past. 

As an origin story, Creed III fills in some details of Adonis Creed’s childhood and adolescence, which allows us to meet Dame Anderson, Adonis’ foil. I refer to Dame as a foil and not a villain or antagonist for a reason. Anderson isn’t out for blood or revenge; he just wants what he believes is his. 

“I view [Dame] a very ambitious, pure, amoral—not immoral—human being. There’s no right or wrong for him, only what is,” says Jonathan Majors, the actor who brought Dame to life. “He’s an individual that is trying to transcend his past and escape his incarcerated mindset and redeem himself.”

Redemption and healing are prominent themes that drive the dramatic tension in Creed III. These themes reach their zenith in the final bout, which sees Creed and Anderson fight for more than a title. It’s important to add that the fight was beautifully shot and redefines what is possible for action sequences in sports movies. 

The best part of Creed III is the honesty with which it depicts Black men, their friendships, shared experiences, and some of the factors that can impact their mental health. The movie avoids being preachy or overly analytical, but Jordan’s and Majors’ performances (with strong support from Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad, as well as Thaddeus Mixson and Spence Moore as young Creed and Anderson, respectively) ensure that there will be lots of think pieces and hot takes about this movie. 

As a fan of the Creed movies and the entire Rocky movie franchise, I was excited to see how Creed III  would stack up against the other movies in the franchise. Pound for pound, Creed III stacks up with the other Creed movies and rivals any of the early Rocky movies for the title of best in the franchise. 

Creed III might be the greatest sequel of all time and raises the bar for what we should expect from franchise movies. 

Creed III is now in theaters everywhere.