I love the Rocky franchise. Although the original run of Rocky films have had some duds, actually you could make an argument that most of the Sylvester Stallone films are duds – Adonis Creed’s story has been rock solid, even with the newest installment. Michael B. Jordan makes his directorial debut in this film and I think that he does a great job, especially for his first go. It’s well known that Jordan loves anime and its definitely evident in his film when considering the opening scene as well as the last fight. The guy stamped shounen anime all over this film. However as good as the film was, I have to ask – was it too much? We’re going to talk about Creed III – the good, the ways it could be better, and more. By the way, it’s a 7/10 for me – so you can leave without reading the rest.
A reoccurring theme within this film, is that Donny and Bianca’s daughter is deaf, so they use sign language to communicate with her. I think that this is a great installment of an unseen population in greater society, it also provides an interesting contrast to the world of boxing which is so lavish and loud. However, there are times when Donny or Bianca are signing to their daughter – Amara, where they play music over it. Not just that, but I find that there is music playing throughout the film, where silence was probably more appropriate. To contrast with the high octane nature of the sport, utilizing silence would allow for the film to emphasize certain moments of drama.
The acting is good but there’s too much of it. The dialogue definitely needs to be cut in this film as there is just too much speaking. Great writers don’t show, they reveal. Every time a character was going through it mentally, they would talk through what they were feeling. I think that they definitely could have used a little more subtext to be nuanced in their delivery of messages and themes within the film. Especially scenes where Donny was really going through it. You could see the hurt in his eyes, you could see the weight of the world on his shoulders – just let him and the audience live in the moment. It’s like saying a joke and then having to explain it afterwards. It just doesn’t hit hard enough.
And with the excessive dialogue and the excessive music – this film was just excessive. It was too long, like the film was 30% longer than it had to be. I felt like there were so many scenes that could have been cut shorter. I mean, I love a good training montage, but the one in this film was a bit long. I feel like the storyline with Felix and his mother were drawn out. I also don’t think that the daughter was needed to push the narrative of the film. It just felt looooong. And because it’s so long, the film doesn’t really hit its stride until the last half. It’s definitely suffering from some pacing issues.
Finally, I just wanted to give a quick shoutout to Jonathan Majors. He was incredible in this film. On the exterior he is a large and rugged man who looks intimidating, yet at the beginning of this film his portrayal of Dame Anderson was so vulnerable. He was shy, meek, and had just a hint of pride. All that to contrast with his appearance and portrayal of the character at the end of the film – magnificent. He was such a villain at the end, it was chef’s kiss. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a Jonathan Majors performance before Creed III but I will never forget his name from now on. He was incredible.
Overall though, the film was entertaining. It’s highs were incredible and the lows actually weren’t even that bad. Just things that could have been improved. I think that this film is a case of less is more. But don’t get it twisted, this is a good film and you should definitely watch if you’re a fan of Hollywood blockbusters and the Rocky films. Again, 7/10 – give it a go, you won’t regret it.