This is a thrilling addition to the Rocky series. A sequel to 2018’s Creed II, and the ninth instalment to the series, Creed III is the first movie not to feature Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa.
Creed III (English)
Others from the earlier Creed films including Tessa Thompson as Creed’s musician love interest now wife, Bianca, Phylicia Rashad as his stepmum, Mary Anne, Wood Harris as the trainer, Little Duke, and Florian Munteanu as the tough boxer, Drago, reprise their roles.
Three years after hanging up his gloves, Adonis “Donnie” Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is in a good place, living in a beautiful apartment with Bianca and their precocious daughter, Amara (Mila Davis-Kent). With endorsements, and mentoring a new generation of boxers, Creed’s life seems set until the past comes knocking in the person of Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors).
As boys together in the foster home, the two were close with the 15-year-old Donnie (Thaddeus J. Mixon) idolising the 18-year-old Damian (Spence Moore II). Damian was a boxing prodigy all set to shine in the ring until one evening when everything goes terribly wrong and he gets sent to prison.
Once he gets out of jail, Damian comes to collect what he believes is his due from Donnie. Jordan, in his feature film directorial debut, has crafted a complex sports film which, apart from the breathtaking fight sequences (cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau’s frames lend a breathtaking brutality to Mark R. Miscione’s fight choreography), is an elegant meditation on brothers, rivalry, the past, the need to forgive oneself and the importance of letting go.
Majors is riveting as Damian, encapsulating the hurt and the fury of being cheated of the chance to be a contender, to be a somebody, instead of the ex-con that he sees himself to be. Donnie has to figure out another way of resolving issues away from the ring — even though he turns to boxing to sort out his differences with Damian.
Boxing usually works as a rough-and-ready metaphor in the movies and that is the case in Creed III as well. While everyone loves an underdog tale, in Creed III, both the men are underdogs. Donnie has retired three years ago and might have gone soft being a stay-at-home dad. Though Damian has never fought or trained professionally, his time in prison has taught him how to fight to win. It might not be pretty, but it gets the job done. Cue the adrenaline-fuelled training montage sequences—where is Survivor’s ‘Eye of the Tiger?’
One finds oneself rooting for both the boxers and whatever the outcome, our joy at the winner will be tempered by sorrow for the loser. And that is what keeps us invested in this stirring tale of brothers who turn against each other out of hurt and love.
Creed III is currently running in theatres.