Creed 3 Reviews: See the First Reactions

The first reviews are in for Creed III — and it seems critics agree round 3 is worthy of the title of “best Creed sequel.” Press reactions to the first screenings of the trilogy capper hit the internet Thursday, with most critics praising the heavyweight performances of Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors. In Jordan’s directorial debut, retired heavyweight champion of the world Adonis “Donnie” Creed (Jordan) — the son of legendary boxer Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) — steps back into the ring to settle the score against old friend-turned-foe, hungry fighter Damian “Dame” Anderson (Majors). So how does Creed fare without Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) in his corner?

Below, you can see excerpts from the earliest reactions and read ComicBook‘s spoiler-free Creed III review here. “With Creed III, the franchise has pulled off what Adonis aimed to accomplish, as we’re given a movie that fully steps out of the looming shadow of both Balboa and Stallone that shirks the constraints of a typical sports drama to lean more fully into the heart of our lead character, instead using those depictions of athleticism to heighten the tension.”

The Hollywood Reporter: “Jordan uses the full power of IMAX to direct some glorious fight scenes. The ace music supervision amps our sense of the stakes of each match long before the athletes enter the ring. Montages of Adonis and Damian training not only recall the ones in [Ryan] Coogler’s Creed; they also give viewers a chance to bask in the aesthetic glory of our leads. Jordan borrows from his love of anime to — along with his stunt team — choreograph the encounters as one would a modern dance. We get to see the ring from each fighter’s perspective, to live in their mind as they plan their next moves. These flourishes will surely delight many fans of the franchise, even as the narrative — the reason we keep watching Adonis fight in and out of the ring — lets us down.”

Entertainment Weekly: “Creed III suffers from a certain lack of heft and specificity in its storytelling structure, a sense that the original bare-knuckle magic is not all there. But it’s also often better than the blunt-force melodrama of the last film, which suffered similarly when original Creed director Ryan Coogler departed for his duties on Black Panther and was replaced by the little-known Steven Caple Jr.”

The Guardian: “While shrugs are still being felt across the globe after last week’s lacklustre Ant-Man threequel, next week offers up a much-needed balm, a rare sequel that comes close to restoring one’s faith in the worth and legitimacy of the franchise as a concept, the latest chapter in what might well be the best we have right now … While the series may never reach the lofty heights of the first Creed movie (a near-perfect balance of heart, head and fist), it’s immensely satisfying to watch sequels made with real purpose and patience.”

Polygon: “In his directorial debut, Jordan, a self-professed anime and manga fan, imbues the spinoff/threequel with a cinematic zest the series has never seen before, expanding the visual language of the Hollywood boxing movie in remarkable ways … Jordan’s approach sometimes works against the saga’s previously grounded nature, but Creed III has enough visual panache to plaster over its occasional narrative inelegance. But its strongest suit is its creators’ desire to weave a character-centric tale that doesn’t repeat the beats of the Rocky movies, the way Creed and Creed II follow the broad structure of Rocky and Rocky IV.”


ComingSoon: “While Creed III is checking boxes with the training montage, the family drama, and the uplifting ending, it’s a formula that remains as inspiring as it was when Rocky Balboa took on Apollo Creed in 1976.”

Starring Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors, Wood Harris, Florian Munteanu, Mila Kent, and Phylicia Rashad, Creed III is playing only in theaters March 1st.

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