Home » Movie review: Michael B. Jordan delivers in “Creed III”

Movie review: Michael B. Jordan delivers in “Creed III”

by The Grio

It must be a daunting prospect to pick up a franchise on the third movie. Add in the pressure of following filmmakers like Ryan Coogler and Steven Caple Jr. in your directorial debut that you’re also starring in and it’s enough to make you wonder what on earth Michael B. Jordan was thinking.

But “ Creed III,” in theaters nationwide Friday, is a new start for Adonis Creed. He’s finally out of the shadow of his father Apollo and Rocky Balboa, whose legacy loomed large over the first two films (Sylvester Stallone decided “Creed II” would be his last). With Rocky out of the way, and the younger Creed solidly in place as the best in the world, the franchise can breathe a little and grow.

Enter the Dame (not that kind of dame).

This one is in the form of Jonathan Majors, an old buddy from their teenage years in a group home in the early 2000s. Dame, or Damian Anderson, is a bit older than Creed. He’s the one who’s boxing in the underground matches at night. The young Creed (Thaddeus J. Mixon), a little awkward, a little too eager to please and a little too ready for trouble, is the one carrying water (and bags and gloves) and helping him strategize. There is a palpable menace established early on with these two — an unequal power and age dynamic, sure, but also the implication that Dame (Spence Moore II) is more than willing to play dirty. He carries a gun. He fixes games. And he has a hold on young Adonis. The flashback ends with a violent altercation outside a convenience store. Dame goes away. Creed becomes Creed.

This flashback is important but does get the film off to a bit of a slow start, jumping forward chronologically to Creed’s last fight and then to his present-day retirement life — a luxurious and tranquil existence in the Hollywood Hills in a modernist mansion with his daughter Amara (Mila Davis Kent) and wife Bianca (Tessa Thompson), who has given up singing mostly to…

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