Its structural deficiencies aside this latest installment of a new direction in a beloved franchise has its magnetic qualities even if the best moments really may be outside the vicious squared circle.
Creed III jettisons Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa to provide more backstory for Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis ‘Donnie’ Creed now in comfortable retirement. As the manager of cocky, new WBA champion Felix Chavez (Joe Benavidez). However, the lead up to many of the bouts and their execution reveals how well Creed achieved its poignancy under Ryan Coogler’s helming.
The film initially sets up in 2002 what less to a reunion of old friends Donnie and Amin ‘Dame Anderson (Jonathan Majors, scene-stealer of the latest Marvel entry subtitled ‘Quantumania’) and further flashbacks into their shared history. From the uneven screenplay the fractured accord and loyalty crucibles aims to unfold into genuine penetrating drama with professional and family issues taking hold.
As some of the narrative beats and scenes have cogency under the workmanlike direction of Jordan as Donnie and Dame have a least a couple of intense encounters beginning with a gym bag left on a car hood.