Braylon Dunlap Staff Writer
Creed lll is the third installment to the Creed franchise and the eighth installment in the seemingly never-ending Rocky franchise. Usually when a series reaches its third movie, the franchise starts to value quantity over quality, and critical reception tends to decline. So as I went to go see Creed III, I wondered: would it be as just good as its predecessors?As a boxing movie, the film runs the risk of being very formulaic but luckily, this one does bring something new to the table. After retiring in the second movie, Adonis Creed (played by Micheal B. Jordan, who also directed the film) spends his time running a boxing gym until he comes across an old friend, Damian Anderson (played by Jonathan Majors) who was forced to retire from boxing due to his imprisonment years ago. This created a very uncomfortable dynamic between him and Creed as we know there might be a little bit of jealousy hiding behind Dame’s jokes and smiles. Even though this movie is formatted the exact same way as the previous movies– (Creed gets into drama with his family and rival before finally duking it out in the final battle –e), the appearance of Damian’s character really elevated the tension in the story. Jonathan Majors stole the show in this movie, as he felt genuinely intimidating and was an actual threat to Creed. Whenever Majors got into the ring, I actually felt scared for the other fighters, especially in the third act of the movie. It wasn’t just the acting that made Creed stand out though, the editing and choreography of the fight scenes were also directed to make you feel every hit a character took. The spontaneous cuts, on top of the claustrophobic close ups and slow-mo’s inflicted that sense of adrenaline that the boxers were all feeling in the fights. Because of this, it can be hard to exactly tell what is going on in the fight scenes, but I really respect the stylistic choice. Even though boxing movies are at their core about fighting, what really makes them great are emotions and the tension created by their hour long build-ups. That being said, some of the tension created by the movie though didn’t feel entirely natural. Aside from the villain, the movie also has Creed confront other personal struggles in his life that felt a little forced. You can tell that the plot was trying to have Creed’s problems all pile up and overwhelm him by the final fight, but none of his problems or relationship struggles really appear naturally.Even with the forced conflict, the story still feels very high stakes and will definitely get your heart pumping for the final battle. Despite having a third installment, the Creed series has not overstayed its welcome! The film made the formula of boxing movies refreshing and exciting due to its character arcs and thrilling action. While I’m not sure what the next installment will look like, it would be inspiring to see a deaf female lead for Creed 4!