“Creed 3” Movie Review: Major Lessons On Survival, Overcoming The Past, And Forgiveness

by Shaye Wyllie

Let’s just kick it straight to the point here — I haven’t seen “Creed 1” or 2, but when they announced Jonathan Majors would be getting into the ring with Michael B. Handsome, I mean Jordan, I knew I needed to see “Creed 3”! So when I got the invite to screen the latest film in the “Creed” franchise, I immediately said yes. I mean, Jonathan has been on a roll lately, and was great in “Ant-Man 3“. And Michael has always been doing the damn thing! So there was no way I was passing up watching both men on screen in IMAX. Let’s be real now.

And now that I’ve literally seen the sweat drippin’ all over their bodies … I don’t think I need to see anything else this year. Kidding, there’s a lot of other movies I’m excited for this year. Like Magazine Dreams … which of course stars our fave Jonathan again.

But if the half naked dancers in “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” excited you … brace yourselves.

“Creed 3” Full Review

creed 3 review

While Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut may not possess the sexiest storyline of the year …

Considering it features two friends who grew up together in a foster home under terrible conditions who both make a bad decision of their own one night that leaves one of them running for their very life and the other flying pass GO and going straight to jail. (Do not collect $200.) It does feature two of the sexiest Black actors in the game right now.

And I mean … what more can you ask for?! That’s about as good as it gets! Right? Wrong.

Creed 3 is the story of most men from the hood forced to learn how to survive on their own …

With little to no guidance in the hard knock streets of a big city that doesn’t seem to care about its own. It’s the story of men who make one bad decision after another as a kid with no one else to depend on that ends up costing them their life in some way or the other. The story of men who grow up together but grow distant as one moves out, grows up, and becomes better … while the other remains stagnant and stuck in the past.

And honestly, it’s the story of men who could have resolved all their god damn childhood trauma with therapy and time, or at least by talking to their wives, but chose to ignore communicating with one another and literally threw hands instead. Men! Am I right?

(l-r.) Michael B. Jordan stars as Adonis Creed, Mila Kent as Amara and Tessa Thompson as Bianca in CREED III | Photo credit: Eli Ade © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

But despite it all … “Creed 3” was a pleasure to watch!

Because while it is a story of men who clearly grew up in survival mode, had to overcome their past, and learn how to forgive themselves (not just others) … it’s highly entertaining and ends not just with a physical win in the ring, but also with a win deep within.

Even though one of our favorites had to walk away from the battle field without the championship belt … emotionally and mentally, there were no losers here and I love how positively “Creed 3” ended.

And even while screaming positive mental health messages to our Black men (like the simple “walk away, even if they hit you first, because sometimes it’s just not worth it” — lesson that I’ve tried so hard to teach many of my own students) Michael B. Jordan’s first film as a director somehow manages to still be an invigorating and powerfully entertaining film.

I mean … I walked into the boxing ring angry and pissed off myself (due to something that happened right before the movie, that I’ll refrain from rehashing at the momento), and for the first 5 to 10 minutes I was convinced that I would be too angry to enjoy the movie, or my popcorn. But “Creed 3” was so dang good it changed my whole mood! Jonathan and Michael’s cute banter and brother like friendship, which was clear from the moment they were on screen together, forced me to be happy! I actually left the movie smiling and in a great mood.

And if we’re being honest … the production of this film was seriously top notch!

I don’t think I remember anything from the story other than being happy every time Michael and Jonathan were on screen! But those fighting scenes? I remember those!

They were insane!

And those sound effects? Incredible! Watching this film in IMAX is definitely the right move, if you can cough up the extra cash to do so!

Plus the cinematography is phenomenal and I’m still tryna figure out how they recorded someone literally knocking the sweat off of homeboy … so you could see all the water droplets go flying! Not to mention the creativity of those side by side shots?!

I mean give them folks 5 stars and a raise because they did that! I loved it!

(l-r.) Mila Kent stars as Amara, Tessa Thompson as Bianca and Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed in CREED III | Photo credit: Eli Ade © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some happy go lucky film.

Sure it’s entertaining, and exciting to watch, but it’s definitely violent! Brooklyn me had my hands balled in a fist the entire film because every time someone got hit hard I took it personally and wanted to hit back. But the film was still amazing, and even catered to us “just here for Jonathan Majors, don’t mind me” folks.

So yes — if you’re not familiar with “Creed 1” or 2 , it’s okay to watch “Creed 3” first.

They definitely walked us newbies all the way to the back of the bus and held our hands through it because I didn’t feel lost at all while watching 3.

I’m sure I’ll have more of a personal and emotional connection to the characters outside of “I wanna see Jonathan and Michael on screen” once I do watch 1 & 2 (because I do plan on watching the full trilogy, especially now that they’re streaming on HBO Max). But even without knowing who these characters really are, I had a really great time watching this. So you can totally watch it without seeing the first two.

Watching “Creed 3” first definitely made me wanna watch the first two even more though. So I’ll go back and watch them before I see this again.

Jonathan Majors stars as Damian Anderson in director Michael B. Jordan’s CREED III | Photo credit: Eli Ade © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

Because I am definitely watching “Creed 3” again!

Although the music was used sparingly … or should I say sparringlyget it? Which felt a tad different than what I’m usually used to in films that I love. (Music tends to always drive my emotions, and usually is one of the biggest factors on whether I become emotionally connected to a story.) They did use the music in this very intentionally. Like for intro music when the boxers came out which felt, right. So I can’t really complain about it.

And you know I don’t have to talk about their acting because the boys have both proven time and time again (*cough* “Black Panther”, “Lovecraft Country” … just to name a few) that they’re both superb regardless of who you put them next to. I’d love to see them team up or even battle it out again in a Marvel film. However, I just really love them on screen together — whether they’re just being playful, or screaming at each other with full force. Doesn’t matter. Just put them together in another film, and I’m sold!

However, the women in the film — specifically, Mila Davis-Kent and Tessa Thompson really held their own, and kept those boys inline. And I really hope they do a Creed 4 so little Mila, who played Amara Creed, can keep the family boxing tradition of winning championships alive. With Disney Plus releasing their new “Echo” Marvel series soon, and Netflix casting a deaf female player in their social media competition reality series “The Circle“, ASL baddies are finally getting their shine and I want more films with badass women who sign!

So yeah … I look forward to what hopefully lies ahead.

And until then, I’m just gonna keep rewatching “Creed 3” because the front row of my IMAX theater did not do this film justice and I totally need a redo! Plus, who doesn’t like seeing foine men sweat? It’s too cold for the men to be running around on the basketball court right about now, so I might as well get my fix right here in theaters.

4.5/5

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