Director: Michael B. Jordan | Script: Zach Baylin, Keenan Coogler | Cast: Michael B. Jordan (Adonis Creed), Jonathan Majors (Damian Anderson), Tessa Thompson (Bianca Creed), Phylicia Rashad (Mary-Anne Creed), Mila Davis-Kent (Amara Creed), ea | Time to play: 116 minutes | Year: 2023
made at the end of 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Creed The general public is familiar with what has since been called the ‘legacy sequel’: a sequel to an already longer running film series in which a new generation takes over from the heroes of yesteryear, often acting as mentors in the process. Furthermore, the new characters must prove their worth not only within the world of the film as skillful successors to the old main characters, but also outside of it. Is the viewer ready to say goodbye to their familiar character(s) and follow this new main character from now on?
in the last Star Warstrilogy, the role of mentor was successively filled by Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Leia Organa, all three of whom helped the new main character Rey to some extent. But as usual with mentors, their role is fulfilled after a while, and therefore, in each new part, one of these veterans was dropped, leaving Rey practically alone at the end of the trilogy.
In Creed it was the young boxer Adonis who wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father Apollo Creed and received the help of his old friend Rocky Balboa, who previously starred in six films. creed II got that perfectly, but in creed III Suddenly, Rocky is nowhere to be seen. The reason for this is the nature of the production: artist Sylvester Stallone simply refused to return due to a rights issue. But his absence immediately creates the biggest tension around this movie: will Creed be able to do without Rocky?
If the names in that question refer only to the characters, then the answer is yes. At the beginning of creed III It’s going well for Adonis: he’s retired as a world heavyweight champion, he’s trying to help a young boxer get started as a promoter, and he spends the rest of his days as a good family man in his spacious villa, while his wife Bianca has changed his career. as a musician for a successful role as a producer. Rocky is clearly not surprised, even as Adonis runs into some obstacles.
But are you asking the question in a more metatextual context (may Creed without Rocky?), then the undersigned tends to say no. Because as much as this movie wants to stand on its own, in the end the Creedseries a continuation of the Rockyseries. And without the loving embrace of all of the above, this installment hardly goes beyond a simple plot in which the predictable plot points unfold without weight or introspection, while the previous two Creedmovies derive their power from precisely that.
And yes, Rocky, who has grown wise through trial and error, is missed, especially by the way the older Stallone portrayed him. His engaging personality provided a nice counterbalance to the somewhat boisterous Adonis, making their joint scenes a highlight. creed III contains a handful of situations in which Rocky would normally have been present and likely contributed. So yes, the absence of it makes for a less rich viewing experience.
Anyway, as a filmmaker you have to work with what you have. Only the writers seem to miss the fact that the absence of a beloved character is also a practical thing. After all, it’s not without reason that Rocky regularly lost a loved one in later parts, because it gave him something to come back to. The hole that Rocky left in Adonis’s life could thus have served to continue the thematic line of the two previous films: can Adonis really be a champion beyond the shadow of his illustrious predecessors?
In any case, they are smart enough to look again for their opponent in personal spheres: a former childhood friend of Adonis, who was once considered a great promise in boxing, but has never had the opportunity to prove it as such. due to the years of incarceration Jonathan Majors makes an interesting appearance as Damian Anderson, though the script doesn’t seem entirely sure of his personality: is he a hateful manipulator or an unpredictable underdog who confronts Apollo about his privileges?
In the end, it dominates the impression of the first, while the second seems to point at times. They both grew up in the same orphanage, but only Adonis was adopted by a wealthy widow, simply by her biological father. When Damien asks for a title fight and Adonis indicates that without professional boxing experience that’s not possible, Damien replies that it was possible with Adonis. And so it is, again by the well-known father of him. But because Damian is portrayed as unreasonable in such moments, the movie sadly doesn’t call into question Adonis’s privileged background.
Too bad, because there’s definitely something in there worth exploring. Damian is someone who, unlike Adonis, has nothing to lose and everything to prove. This character is somewhat reminiscent of Clubber Lang in rocky iii, but also Rocky himself at the time of his first film. Choosing to give the untested Damian a chance, Adonis once again follows in his father’s footsteps, but the parallels seem to elude both creators and characters.
Several references are made to the situation that landed Damien in prison while Adonis was growing up in luxury, giving the impression that the film wants to play on this background information as a mystery hinting at how the two are related to each other. However, the way the prologue describes this situation leaves little to the imagination, which raises the question of why he is held in such high esteem. The element is exemplary for creed III: a film that doesn’t have much to offer, but also doesn’t manage to get the most out of the fewest resources.