Posts Tagged ‘Creed’

Creed III is the third entry in the Rocky spin-off series and the feature directorial debut of its star Michael B. Jordon. This entry completely steps out of the shadow of the Rocky, featuring a story not connected to any characters of the original franchise.

This entry opens with a  flashback to a teenage Adonis Creed sneaking out at night to join his friend Damien, who fights in an underground boxing match. Damien is a Golden Gloves boxing champion and has dreams of turning pro. Later in the evening, they have a run in with the law. We don’t initially know the entirety of the events of this evening, but pieces of this story are told in flashbacks throughout the film.

Cut to an adult Adonis, who is fighting Ricky Conlan, the main opponent from the first movie. Quickly wrapping up that storyline from the first Creed, Adonis retires as champion and now runs Delphi Boxing Academy with his trainer Tony “Little Duke” Evers Jr. The duo train and promote their protege and world champion Felix Chavez, in an upcoming bout against Creed II’s Viktor Drago.

In the midst of all this, Damien, fresh out of a long prison sentence, comes back into Adonis’s life. Events unfold reminiscent of the first Rocky film, where Drago has to pull out of the upcoming bout, and Damien ends up with a Cinderella/Rocky-esque shot at the title. However, this is a tale of “What if Rocky was evil,” with Damien using dirty/underhanded tricks during the bout and actually wins.

Completing his full heel turn, Damien badmouths Adonis for abandoning him all those years he was in prison, and Adonis comes out of retirement to challenge him for the title.

One of the things the Creed series out does Rocky in is its supporting characters, who are given more to do and have their own character arcs. Adonis’s wife Bianca has become a music producer, stepping away from performing herself due to her growing hearing loss. Her and Damien relate to each other, as they both watch other people living lives they planned to have for themselves. Bianca’s daughter, who is deaf herself, is bullied in school and wants to be a fighter (this plot thread isn’t developed much). A retired Donnie now has no outlet for his emotions, leading to tension with his wife, who feels alienated when her husband won’t share a painful part of his past. Adonis’s adopted mother Mary Anne, (Apollo Creed’s widowed wife) is very ill, and there is tension between her and her adopted son due to his past relationship with Damien. Mary Anne herself gets a moment to shine, expressing her feelings on Apollo’s past sins and her own relationship with Adonis. It is also mentioned that Mary Anne’s biological children never bothered with Adonis, which is the first time these two half siblings are mentioned in the series.

With it’s expected in ring action in addition to its strong subplots and character development, Creed III turns out to be one of the strongest entries of the franchise. In fact, Creed III may well be the best film of the whole series.

P.S. It is my opinion that this is the perfect place to end the Creed saga, and lead into a series of films about Viktor Drago.


Creed is a perhaps unexpected spin-off of the Rocky Series, which concluded with 2006’s Rocky Balboa. Creed is the story of Adonis Creed, the son of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s opponent from the first two Rocky movies. In this film Adonis seeks out an old Rocky Balboa to be his boxing manager as he wishes to rise out of his father’s shadow.

Adonis Creed is the opposite or Rocky, growing up wealthy with a white collar job, but secretly going to Mexico to win boxing matches. Early in the film he quits his job after getting a promotion and plans to train full time. His father’s gym in California won’t train him, because the owner thinks he doesn’t need to fight. He then gets an apartment in Philadelphia, and seeks out Rocky Balboa to train him. While he’s preparing to further his career there’s also an angle of him not wanting to use his father’s name and instead make it on his own.

The scene where he meets Rocky takes place in Rocky’s restaurant that we saw in the last movie Rocky Balboa. Some of the dialogue is a little stiff, but it references a lot of the earlier movies. In Rocky 4 Apollo dies in the ring, and Rocky, who was in his corner, always felt guilty for not throwing the towel in/stopping the fight. Rocky also reveals who won the private match between him and Apollo at the end of Rocky III.

Meanwhile we’re introduced to some other boxers, after which a graphic comes up telling us the name, record, etc of each fighter. This gets a little distracting but there’s a story of the currently light heavyweight champion about to go to jail and wants one last fight. Creed gets offered this fight which leads to the climax of the film. The fight is in the champs hometown of Liverpool England, adding an international feel to the movie, and putting Rocky and Creed in a situation where they are booed.

Bianca, a local singer who lives below  Creed becomes a love interest. Their relationship goes through some angles that keep it from being run of the mill romance. Interestingly enough, she has a disability. It’s not often you see major characters with disabilities on film, and her disability actually thematically ties into a theme with Creed about doing what you love as long as you can. Bianca is a character I’d look forward to seeing more of in future installments, and is a more developed character than Rocky’s Adrian.

Creed accomplishes one of the main things it needs to which is establish it’s own identity and not be just another Rocky movie. It opens with a flashback, something Rocky movies don’t usually do, not counting the recap of the previous film’s fight of course. It has it’s own musical score, it’s own training theme, however Creed’s cinematic equivalent of running up the museum steps is underwhelming. However, that same scene does establish how the city has connected to Creed, ala the way the kids ran up the steps with Balboa in Rocky II.

The traditional Rocky music is sparingly used, but it is used at the end and I felt this took me out of the fight a bit. The fight is filmed in the traditional show the first two rounds, followed by montage, then show the last round. The cinematography is across between the HBO style of the last movie and the more cinematic methods of previous films. The fights are exciting but certain scenes looked a little strange. Both in the fight and during training Rocky offers more technical advice which further differentiates Creed from previous installments.

I won’t spoil the ending, but while it ends in way not exactly expected, I felt they should have gone another route. In my opinion, I think Adonis should have got hurt real bad in the fight, and then have Rocky throw in the towel, so he can redeem himself from Rocky IV (This also could have broke the 2 round/montage/last round formula). They almost go there, but Adonis quickly talks him out of it which I found myself not buying. At this point I was pretty much routing for the other guy to win.

While Creed successfully sets up the franchise to be continued, I didn’t like the ending. That aside I still look forward to future installments of Creed.