Movie Review: Creed III

In 1980, Robert De Niro won the best Oscar for “Raging Bull”, released in 1980, he created a new genre of acting that included becoming a great athlete first – by training for months, to play Jake La Motta, the great middleweight boxer. De Niro’s performance in Raging Bull was so significant that there was no way he was not going to win the Oscar for best actor, even to the point of moving the best actor nomination for Timothy Hutton in “Ordinary People” to supporting actor, so he could win a deserved acting award for his outstanding performance for that great movie. De Niro then went on to gain 60 pounds so he could play La Motta in his later years, making De Niro’s great acting performance secondary to an amazing physical achievement unprecedented in movie history.

For all of the 9 Rocky and Creed movies, one has to admire the physical shape of all of the actors in the boxing scenes are in. This requires a great deal of hard work and training for months in order to become believable in their roles as professional boxers. For the 3rd installment of the Creed franchise, “Creed III” the shape Micheal B. Jordan and Jonathon Majors are in for this film is some of the best within both the Rocky and Creed series.

The boxing scenes are as always – not realistic because no human brain can take repeated shots like these and continue boxing. The other flaw with most of these movies is that the Boxing Association would never sanction a fight where one boxer is in a completely different weight class than the other fighter. In this case, Jonathan Majors, who plays Damian Anderson weighs at least 240 and Michael B. Jordan, who plays Adonis Creed is at most 205 pounds. In the real world of professional boxing, middle-weight or lightweight boxers do not fight heavy-weight boxers.

Aside from the flaws in this film, I thought the story was as good as the previous 2 Creed movies, although the extremely fast rise of Damian who gets out of prison and very quickly gets to fight for the heavyweight title is not believable under any circumstances. But this is a movie and very often to create a great conflict story, corners sometimes have to be cut.

Overall, I thought that the acting was good throughout this film, with Tessa Thompson, as Adonis Creed’s wife, and
Phylicia Rashad, as Creed’s mother. Florian Munteanu, returns as Drago from Creed II and he weighs close to 260 pounds, making the weight class issue even more obvious in the last movie.

There is no mention of the character of Rocky throughout this entire story, and due to politics with Sylvester Stallone and Irwin Winkler, it seems that Stallone has been pushed out of the Creed franchise. One reason is that producer Irwin Winkler owns the rights to both franchises. I would rather have seen some explanation about what happened to Rocky, given that he was battling Cancer in the last movie and Stallone gave such a great performance in the previous 2 Creed movies.

I agree with the high Rotten Tomatoes ratings for Creed III of 86% and highly recommend this film.