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Creed 3 Review! Is It The Best Yet?

Creed 3, starring Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, and Jonathan Majors is in theaters, and it’s a knockout! (Forgive the pun, couldn’t resist!) In Jordan’s first directorial debut, the film showcases Adonis Creed’s life as a retired heavyweight champion. His legacy cemented, Adonis and his wife, Bianca (Thompson) are living the dream. Bianca is a singing superstar, their daughter represents the best of both, and Adonis is helping Lil’ Duke (Harris) run Delphi Boxing Gym, training the next generation of fighters. But someone from Adonis’ past shows up, bringing painful memories with him. Dame (Majors) reunites with Creed, as they try to mend a fractured brotherhood. However, Dame’s true intentions are made clear, as he wants what is “owed” to him and won’t stop until Dame gets it. It all leads to a personal confrontation between Adonis and Dame, to determine who’s really the best.


MASSIVE Spoilers ahead! Continue at your own risk!!!

From the first Creed film, we’ve seen the character Adonis Creed grow in front of us, from a troubled kid who wants to grow out of his late father’s shadow to learning how to make peace with his namesake and making his own legacy. Adonis Creed is in rare form. In the previous two movies, Adonis struggled with his father, Apollo Creed, not being in his life, and how he died. (Apollo died in the ring against rival Ivan Drago, in Rocky 4.) In the finale of Creed 2, Adonis beat Drago’s son, Viktor (and made peace with both Drago’s, in a deleted scene.) Adonis comes to terms with how he needed to find his reason to fight, not for his father, but for himself. In doing so, he learns to express his emotions, and overcome his doubts. A well-done showing of modern-day masculinity if you ask me. Tessa Thompson’s Bianca is in a fight of her own, with struggling with hearing loss as a singer. Bianca also deals with supporting Adonis while dealing with her own battle, on top of raising a daughter who is deaf. Bianca isn’t meek, either. She’s willing to call Adonis out on his ish when the time calls for it. The new character, Dame, is fresh out of prison, and wants to prove himself as a boxer. A former Golden Glove champion whose career was cut short, Dame finds Creed and it all brings back memories. Some are happy, most painful. When they were young, Adonis and Dame were like brothers, but when Adonis beat his abusive foster father on the street, Dame pulls a gun to stop others from jumping in. Almost 20 years passed, Dame does show signs of struggling to reintegrate into society. At first, Adonis wants to help him as much as he can, out of guilt and to the dismay of Lil Duke (Harris). Eventually, Dame’s plan comes to light, as he wants to take what’s “owed” to him from Adonis.


Let me tell you, I was already going to see Creed 3, due to me being a fan of the franchise. But, when Jonathan Majors was cast as the antagonist, I threw my money at the ticket box! Creed 3 is one of the best takes on how to overcome guilt, showcasing what modern-day masculinity should be, and paving the way for the next generation. Speaking of generations, it is noticeable that Rocky Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone) isn’t in this picture. It’s reported that Stallone is upset with Irvin Winkler, the owner of the rights to Rocky. I believe that Stallone wants his rights back, which is why he won't be in this film. But it kind of comes across as slighting Jordan on his directorial debut. Plus, if all this was going on with Donnie, you would think Rocky would have a 30-second cameo, asking if he needed Rocky’s help. But, again, this is Creed’s story. Rocky’s time is done, (Stallone even said that Creed 2 was his last appearance as the character.) But, back to the movie. The heart of these films isn’t the fights or the training montages, it’s the story behind those events. From Adonis and Bianca raising a deaf daughter, to Mary Alice hiding Dame’s letters from Donnie, Creed 3 has drama that holds its own with the fight scenes. And the fight scenes, wow! I know Jordan said that he was inspired by some anime, but you can clearly tell from some of the shots that there’s some Dragonball Z, Hajime No Ippo, and other anime sprinkled in the boxing scenes.


My few nitpicks with Creed 3 are that it feels kind of short when compared to the first two. The final boxing scene could have been a bit longer, but I suspect it's because we all know Creed will win the fight. Another nitpick is Phylicia Rashad’s character dying! We already lost Queen Ramonda (played by Angela Bassett) in Wakanda Forever, but did we really need to see another black mother figure die?! Again, it’s a nitpick, but it’s one I wasn’t ready for.

I may sound like a broken record, but Creed 3 really is a good example of healthy masculinity. We see Donnie mend his relationship with Dame, and even Donnie train with former rival Viktor Drago. More than the boxing, Adonis Creed’s journey from a hungry, young boxer who wants validation for himself and not just his namesake, to a confident boxer who created his own legacy, standing out of his father’s (and to an extent, Rocky’s) shadow. Learning to forgive himself and others, Creed has come full circle. I give Creed 3 a 9 out of 10. What did you think? Post your thoughts below, be sure to follow me in Instagram @blerdpov2.0, and till next time fellow blerds!

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