Creed III: A Cinematic Knockout


Taiden Iizuka, Staff Writer

Creed 3 was an intense, moving installment in a franchise that has always centered on family, friendship, and perseverance. Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors are brilliant as friends turned adversaries. Jordan’s directorial debut is a seamless continuation of Ryan Coogler‘s established story and themes (his brother, Keenan Coogler, is a co-writer), bringing everything closer to home by focusing on Donnie’s past trauma and how a childhood friend’s incarceration changes him. 

Adonis “Donnie” Creed is enjoying life after his retirement from professional boxing. He runs a successful boxing gym and is a well-respected promoter and ambassador for the sport. He has built a loving family with his award-winning music producer wife, Bianca; their precocious deaf daughter, Amara; and Donnie’s attentive mother, Mary Anne. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Donnie’s childhood friend and former Golden Gloves champ Damian “Dame” Anderson gets out of prison after nearly two decades and seeks Donnie out. 

Anderson wants a second chance at what prison deprived him of a title shot in professional boxing. Plagued with guilt and feeling partially at fault for Dame’s arrest and imprisonment, Donnie gives him a place in the gym – over Tony’s objections – as a heavyweight contender Felix Chavez’s sparring partner. But Dame’s ambitious demands and Creed’s guilt soon lead to an antagonistic rivalry that can only be resolved in the ring.

The flashbacks, featuring Thaddeus J. Mixson and Spence Moore II as 15-year-old Donnie and 18-year-old Dame, provide an integral look at how Adonis’ life might have turned out had Mary Anne not adopted him. And although there are several boxing sequences, the heart of this story is once again the character development, with Donnie finally processing painful memories and learning to open up to his amazing wife (Thompson is fabulous as Bianca).

In addition to the main cast, the supporting ensemble continues to captivate, with Harris’ Duke and young Kent-Davis stealing scenes and reminding viewers how much of a supportive circle Donnie has around him — something that Dame utterly lacks. The soundtrack, executive-produced by J Cole, includes propulsive tracks from rapper Bas, Ghanaian recording artist Black Sherif, and Nigerian producer Kel-P. Kramer Morgenthau’s cinematography, coupled with Jessica Baclesse and Tyler Nelson’s editing, creates tautly framed, emotional, and immersive boxing scenes that, while bloody, convey each fight’s high stakes. 

Majors and Jordan should consider starring in more films together, because their chemistry, natural gravitas, and acting range are unparalleled. Audiences will be impressed with Jordan’s nuanced performance and Majors’ humanized “heel” turn. The only question left is whether the Creed franchise will continue to put Donnie through the ringer — or whether it’s time to move on to the next generation.

A student at Kaiser High School, Colby Okamura, says that “this movie is very emotional and has a very tragic story.” He also likes the concept of family, friendship, and betrayal that is portrayed throughout the film. He says the plot of this movie is more realistic and better written than the other two Creed films. Okamura recommends people watch this movie, as the story is very deep and the acting is on point.

Caleb Hamasaki, a 9th grader here at Kaiser High School says “he likes the movie, but he says it’s the worst compared to the other two films made.” He loves the music in the film, though, and that made him excited to watch some scenes. In general, however, Hamasaki says the movie was just okay and he didn’t like how some scenes were so predictable.

Math whizz, Isaiah Bugard, says “the movie was action-packed, which he loved.” He also enjoyed how the story unfolded and how the movie had deeper meaning. He didn’t like how the movie was rushed in many scenes, but overall he enjoyed the movie and recommended people to watch it.

Overall this movie is worth watching. The soundtrack of the movie was phenomenal and the fight between the two was awesome, in all I would recommend everyone to watch this movie.