Creed review: If you are a fan of boxing movies, then Creed 3 won't disappoint you.
Story: Adonis Creed retires from professional boxing and begins to mentor younger fighters. But, an old from the past he tries to forget comes into his life uninvited. And Adonis is forced to confront the past he's running away from.
Review: So the new Creed movie is in the cinemas. But, it has been scrubbed off of all residuals of Rocky Balboa. It is as if he never existed in this cinematic universe. The beloved character has been unceremoniously booted out from one of the most successful movie franchises in the world that he invented. The absence of Sylvester Stallone and the memory of Rocky Balboa in Creed 3 are likely to weigh heavy on the minds of fans of this franchise. It's different now and the ambivalence of how to feel about this movie is going to be a hard puzzle to solve.
Creed 3 opens with Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) fighting his last boxing match. Unlike earlier, he's not easily rattled after taking a few punches from his opponent in the ring. Adonis is composed, strong and looking for the right window of opportunity to deliver his knockout punches. He has become a very calculative and technical boxer. He no longer needs the spiritual guidance of Rocky to tap into his inner reservoir of strength to rise against all the odds staked up against him. That itself marks the departure of the franchise from Stallone's vision. It's no longer about the endurance and the will to keep moving forward, no matter how hard life gets. Every fight and the formidable opponent was an opportunity for the hero to go on a journey of self-discovery, conquering the inner demos, and mastering himself all the while pushing the boundaries of human endurance. But, in Creed 3, it's all about cold and calculative mind games.
Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors) worms himself into the life of Adonis soon after getting out of jail. He lost prime years of his life languishing in jail for illegal possession of arms. Adonis and Damian go way back. They were like brothers. When Damian gets arrested, Adonis escapes. And thanks to his kind-hearted stepmother Mary Anne Creed, Adonis lands on his feet and goes on to achieve great things. Damian thinks that Adonis stole his life and he goes after him.
Damian doesn't challenge Adonis straight away to a fight to settle his score. But, he exploits Adonis's soft corner for him, tricks him into giving a shot at the title and then betrays him.
There are a few plot holes that are hard to ignore. For example, Mary had a smoking gun all along with her that could have unmasked Damian's true nature and stopped Adonis from falling into the trap. But, no. Mary only decides to reveal the crucial piece of evidence when the deed is done.
Despite its shortcomings, Creed 3 works. Especially, thanks to its final act. The climax boxing match between Adonis and Damian becomes more than a matter of simple win or defeat. There is a strong sense of catharsis to the match. Two brothers are purging all the bad blood between them by trading a volley of body punches. The question is no longer who will win. But, you hope none of them dies in that fight and they make peace with each other.
Verdict: If you are a fan of boxing movies, then Creed 3 won't disappoint you.