Ross: Jordan knocks out his directorial debut with Creed 3


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Bros. Pictures

“Creed 3” is the latest edition to the “Creed” franchise with lead actors Michael B. Jordan and Johnathan Majors. In the third installment of the series, Adonis Creed is forced into a face-off with his childhood friend who’s eager to prove himself in the ring.

Atticus Ross, Staff Writer

The “Rocky” franchise began in 1976, garnering critical acclaim and fans of the now-famous fictional boxer. This made Sylvester Stallone a Hollywood star, who would then create five sequels to the first film. In 2015, “Creed,” a new spin-off film from the “Rocky” universe, was released. The film was based on a supporting character from “Rocky”, Apollo Creed,  and starred Stallone and Michael B. Jordan as Creed’s son. Now that the “Creed” series is on its third installment, have these films oversaturated their market?

“Creed 3” is an entertaining and energetic film that will leave most fans satisfied. Jordan, the film’s star, also directed this latest installment. This is his first ever film he has directed, and he reigns in his skills with it. The action this time around has some of the best in the “Creed” series, with the fighting sequences having top-notch camera work and fight choreography. Jordan has stated the fighting scenes were influenced by his love of anime and its fight scenes. The influence is clear, and it brings a fresh new lens to the film’s boxing scenes. It is also the first sports movie to be filmed on IMAX cameras, which gives it larger shots to capture for the big screen.

However, the story for “Creed 3” doesn’t stray too far from other “Rocky” and “Creed” films. Some critics might say it just uses the same formula as prior films, but I would argue the formula used is always successful. The almost two-hour film is paced very well, never having moments that feel prolonged or slow. 

Unlike the two previous movies, Stallone doesn’t reprise his role as Rocky Balboa for “Creed 3.” Stallone is still fighting for the copyrights to “Rocky,” a character he created with the producer of the franchise, Irwin Winkler. Also, he has stated he is not a fan of the movie’s direction. Fans of the franchise who weren’t aware of this were confused about Rocky’s missing presence. Even with Stallone gone, this did not affect the film’s box office. “Creed 3” broke records when it opened, grossing $58.7 million in the U.S. opening weekend, the highest in the franchise and higher than the estimated $30-$35 million opening. It is also the first sports film to open over $100 million worldwide. 

Even without Stallone, the supporting cast can still hold their own. Jonathan Majors, star of “Magazine Dreams” and Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” does an excellent job portraying the movie’s antagonist. Tessa Thompson also excels as Creed’s wife in the film. 

Jordan does a nice job with his directorial debut. “Creed 3” follows similar beats and story points as previous films, but the formula has yet to let the films and fans down. Even without Stallone’s presence, the film’s cast still captures the essence of the “Rocky” and “Creed” franchises. Impressive camera work from Jordan creates a visual treat during fight scenes. Great behind and in-front-of-the-camera talent and a growing audience prove that there is still room for “Creed” films in Hollywood.