Adonis has been thriving in both his career and family life, but when a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy resurfaces, the face-off is more than just a fight.
THE GOOD STUFF
VERSATILITY- There’s no question that Michael B Jordan has had some wonderful directors to learn from over the course of his career. I cannot imagine the kind of cram sessions that he must have had with at least a couple of them in order to have his directorial debut be as on point as this.
From what I hear in multiple interviews directing was never his ultimate goal; it’s just something that he caught on to as time went along and got curious. And to that, it is completely justifiable that he’s been getting the respect that he’s been getting for the effort that he’s put in here. The critical mistakes of this film have nothing to do with how it looks or how it’s paced. Those are mistakes that first-time directors tend to make usually, not here.
THE YEAR OF MAJORS- Majors has completely blitzkrieged pop culture over the past month and a half. As a rising star, I haven’t seen a singular individual get this much hype since the Jennifer Lawrence tsunami of hype in the early 2010s. However, like Lawrence, it is very apparent that Majors is here to stay and deserves every ounce of credit that he’s getting.
I found myself outright detesting how this movie portrays the character that he is playing. (More on that in a second) but that has nothing to do with how Majors is playing him. This could have been a way more cartoonishly sinister character than even King the Conqueror was, given how these Rocky movie villains have tended to be over the past couple of decades. But Majors plays him in a way where you always want to know what he’s thinking. Just as he was in Ant-Man 3… He is the best part about this movie.
THE ABSENCE OF BALBOA- To be completely honest, I’m glad Rocky isn’t in this movie. Not because his presence distracted from or diminished anything that Jordan was trying to do in the last two Creed movies. Rocky was the voice of reason; Rocky was the person that brought Creed down to earth whenever Creed was going to make immature irrational decisions.
Hypothetically speaking, I think this film might be 40 minutes long in length if the Rocky character were at all present. This movie’s events are based on nothing but ego and irrational decision-making, and it says a lot more about how Creed is now without Rocky. If the goal was to grow the character at all, Rocky did not need to be here.
That being said, I hope he comes back in the future.
THE BAD STUFF
THE CLIMAX- Of course, it would be diving face-first into spoilery territory for me to explain anything in detail as to what happens in the climactic bout. What I will say is this… Every Hollywood mainstream boxing movie tends to do The climactic boxing showdown in kind of the same way. Jordan attempts to… Switch things up, to say the very least. There is a very creative attempt to connect with the audience in a really big and risky kind of way. If this movie becomes as popular as the other two iterations of this franchise, then I imagine this particular scene may be a bit polarizing.
Some may like it simply because it’s a change of pace. I did not. S*** was weird.
THE UGLY STUFF
*STEPS ON SOAPBOX*
In the year of our Lord 2023, I believe we have reached a point with cinematic villains where they may….make too much sense. Where their course of action is basically a hyperactive response to rational emotions, you see with Thanos, Stringer Bell, Magneto, Gus Fring, or even Killmonger, we could easily identify those characters as villains even though they had rational reasons as to why they were doing the things that they were doing because they didn’t care about killing innocent people in order to achieve their goals.
But here’s the thing, what if you have a movie such as this that has nothing to do with killing people whatsoever? You don’t necessarily have the cop-out of making your villain murderous so that you can give him all the reason in the world to try and do what he’s doing and still easily be labeled a villain.
One would tend to think that a little bit of irrationality on your villain’s behalf is an absolute necessity to considerably distance himself from the protagonist, no matter how cartoonish or nonsensical the irrationality may be, right?
Well, suppose you don’t do that with the character that is supposed to be your villain. In that case, you as an audience member may end up with a kind of crisis of belief when it comes to what you think of the characters of the movie that you’re watching, given what the advertising, the trailers, and even the interviews with the stars of the movie themselves telling you what these characters are supposed to be. I hope that makes sense. You will know what I’m talking about when you see this movie.
Storywise, Creed 3 is an absolute conundrum. Amidst all the good things that were going on technically, I constantly asked myself why it was telling the story in the way that it was telling the story.