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Creed III | movie review

Round 3 - FIGHT!!!


Movie summary: 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. (IMDb)

This was a weird experience watching Creed III thanks to it turning out to be effectively a private screening – and in IMAX to boot. When booking the tickets, it looked like only five others had booked and that me and my three friends were going to make up nearly half the audience. As it turned out, we were the entire audience for some reason.

I don’t know if the seats that were ‘booked’ were people who didn’t show up, or if it was the cinema only showing them as booked to try and encourage people to show up, but it made for an interesting experience that I think somewhat negatively impacted my personal impression of the movie, because it had to stand on its own two feet and ended up a little shaky.

There’s no doubt in my mind that I’d have a more favourable opinion of Creed III if I’d seen it with any kind of audience at all other than just my friends, because even when an audience is very quiet, you can still pick up on the ‘vibe’ of everyone else and how much they’re enjoying it or not. Watching it in what was effectively a gigantic room wasn’t really ideal – especially for a sports movie.

I don’t know how much more positive it would’ve been though, as the movie really leans heavily on just how phenomenal a pair of actors Michal B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors are as actors and kind of forgets about the supporting cast that helped elevate the previous two movies. I definitely could’ve done with more Tessa Thompson here, but it sadly wasn’t to be.

Don’t get me wrong, Jordan and Majors are both incredible talents and they really do hold everything together, especially when sharing the screen. It’s just unfortunate that everything else, including the story, is kind of weak and I don’t know how much an audience being present would’ve changed my opinion on that – you can tell pretty much everything that’s going to happen waaay before it does.

Jordan also directed and I’m not sure that a movie with him featured so heavily in front of the camera was a good idea for his directorial debut as it does sometimes feel that there’s a bit of tunnel vision focusing a little too much on Adonis and Dame’s evolving relationship rather than fleshing out the world around them and grounding everything in a solid reality like the previous Creed (and Rocky) movies.

The fight scenes are excellent though, although they do come across as a little more stylised than the previous movies. Jordan said he wanted there to be an anime feel to the movie and that certainly comes across in the multiple matches we get to see – especially the final bout. The choreography and how its captured is excellent though, so Jordan definitely knows what he’s doing there.

Creed III isn’t a great movie and feels almost like it exists solely to give Jordan his directorial debut more than having a great story that really needed to be told. The plot is pretty basic and a lot of the supporting cast from the previous two movies getting short shrift means it only really succeeds thanks to the immense talents of Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors, who stop everything from falling flat and somehow elevate it into something halfway good.

[6/10 - Decent]



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