Actor Michael B. Jordan makes a solid directorial debut with Creed III, the third sequel to the popular after Rocky film franchise written by Ryan Coogler and Zach Baylin, it explores new aspects of Adonis Creed’s life (Jordan) while maintaining the expected intensity.
The former boxing world champion Apollo “Donnie” Creed seems to have it all. Living in a gorgeous mansion, wearing tailored suits and driving expensive cars. Retired, he’s happily married to his pop-singer wife Bianca (Tessa Thompson), father to young daughter Amara (Mila Davis-Kent) and owner of a popular gym for young boxers, he runs with coach Little Duke (Wood Harris). He is also attentive to his mother (ailing mother (Phylicia Rashad), who’s recently survived a stroke,
Donnie’s life is turned upside down when his childhood friend, Damian “Dame” Anderson (Jonathan Majors) resurfaces after spending eighteen years in prison. A golden gloves champion before prison, Dame wants a shot at the championship. Feeling guilty about how Dame’s life turned out, Donnie agrees to help him out, only to discover that Dame’s anger is squarely aimed at him. With that, the two men are on a collision that can only be settled in the ring. Training montages commence.
Rocky, who helped Donnie’s career reach incredible heights, is nowhere to be found. Sylvester Stallone moved on, unhappy with the direction of the franchise. Stallone went on to air his grievances with producer Irwin Winkler (while still taking his contractually obligated producer’s credit). None of this hurts Creed III. Donnie has grown and no longer needs Rocky’s support. While it makes perfect sense that Dame represents a genuine threat to the empire Donnie has built.
Jordan delivers on both sides of the camera. Aided by a strong screenplay, Jordan delivers a focused story. Strong too, is the performance of Jonathan Majors, who manages to be a sympathetic villain. The supporting cast offer limited but welcome moments. Particularly, Phylicia Rashad as Donnie ‘s mother, who plays an important part in the plot and Wood Harris, who takes over for Rocky as Donnie’s trusted trainer.
Warner Brothers 2.39:1 HEVC 4K image look stunning throughout, making it a “must have” for fans of the format. The increased resolution and HDR is on display with every frame. Detail is stunning and colors pop, when appropriate. A nice level of grain gives the proceedings a filmic appearance. Movement is top notch during the boxing scenes.
The included Dolby Atmos track impresses throughout. The sound design puts you right in the ring during boxing scenes. Background effects shine, as do songs by Ari Lennox, Blxst, J. Cole, and Big Sean offering a dynamic presence. Slightly front heavy, dialogue is clean, clear and concise throughout.
English SDH, French, German, Italian, and Spanish subtitles are available.
The following extras are included on the Blu-ray disc:
- Michael B. Jordan: In the Ring / Behind the Camera (HD, 10:04) This featurette follows the director on and off the set as he balances directorial duties with his lead role. Brief interview with members of the cast and crew are included.
- There’s No Enemy Like the Past:Donnie and Dame (HD, 9:20) This featurette outlines Creed III‘s duties as both a sequel and origin story.
- Deleted Scenes (3 clips, 4:23 total) Three short deleted scenes, including “Dame Steals Candy for Boy”, “Amara School Hallway”, and “Duke Talks to Adonis in Church”.