FoCC Review: Creed 3 – Greatest Hits

By Jason Delgado 

Back in the day, heavyweight championship boxing matches had an air of exhilaration amongst the general population that was difficult to match. I have not seen that intense kind of fandom for the sport dubbed the “sweet science” since the days of “Iron” Mike Tyson and Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield. Even though it is usually difficult for a film to match the level of enthusiasm of a live sporting event, Creed III has brought that “cut the excitement in the air with a knife” vibe back for me.

I credit this feeling to the successful directorial debut of star actor Michael B. Jordan, a great script, and an amazing cast. Jonathan Majors is having a heck of a run lately, first as Kang, the new big bad of the MCU, and now as Creed’s former best friend and rival, Damian Anderson, aka Dame. Jordan is back as Adonis Creed, the heavyweight champion who is facing demons from his past. 

The use of flashbacks to reveal a dark secret is something new for this franchise (including the Rocky films), but most of the rest feels like a ‘best of’: the seemingly unbeatable opponent, the inspirational training montage, the intense fight scenes, the personal turmoil and self-doubt, and the love for family. It is all done to perfection, and it works extremely well.

The trio of the different generations of Creed women are the co-champions of this movie. They provide great depth, warmth, and humor. The legendary and always fantastic Phylicia Rashad is phenomenal yet again as Mary-Ann Creed. The same can be said for one of my favorite actresses, Tessa Thompson, as Bianca Creed, who has her own struggles while trying to figure out what is going on with her husband, as well as the precious Mila Davis-Kent as Amara Creed, the sign-language using daddy’s little girl who, like her father, won’t be bullied. These three amazing actresses really elevate the stakes and the heart of the entire picture, while Jordan and Majors play off of them so well.

Jonathan Majors and Michael B. Jordan do an excellent job of selling the tension between them, with bad blood and respect on the line. The major Rocky villains of the past such as Drago and Clubber Lang were all formidable and menacing, and Dame is every bit as believable as those great villains were. He has a sympathetic story, but he fights dirty and does underhanded things, so it is easy to root against him, even while understanding why he is this way.

The city of Los Angeles takes a prominent role in the movie, with Arena (formerly Staples Center) and Dodgers Stadium taking center stage in big fights. Little touches like a fireworks show and the fire-level hip-hop soundtrack add to the already intense excitement of it all.

The major theme of the film is forgiveness for yourself and others, which is something that we should all get behind.

I give Creed III four and half hot sauce packets out of five. It’s got enough of a kick to knock you out. 

Jason Delgado

Jason is a CSULB film school alum and movie guy for Friends of Comic Con. He loves movies, TV, writing, comics, going to Cons, basketball (Lakers), music (all forms of rock + 90's hip hop), football (Chargers), his dog, and most importantly wife and newborn son. He's written a comedy/sci-fi script, and wants to write more in between raising a son. He doesn't often cosplay, but when he does, it's as Iron Fist. Follow him on Twitter @JasonDelgado78

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