Michael B. Jordan enters the ring of directors with ‘creed III’

Nicholas Castillo, Staff Writer

Michael B. Jordan comes out swinging, pun very much intended, with his directorial debut film. The star has shown himself to be rather laid back in interviews, but he came into this film with weights on his shoulders. Regarding his time in Hollywood, Jordan told Variety Magazine “I still feel like I have something to prove. I still feel like I want to make people proud. I want to make myself proud — so I’m constantly trying to raise the bar.” 

After watching this film three times in theaters, I can safely say “Creed III” screams high quality and manages to nail the execution of every idea it went after. This review will be spoiler-free and only mention specific story beats that viewers would notice from the film’s trailers.  

The main storyline focuses on Adonis Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan, having to finally face his past when his childhood best friend, Damian Anderson, played by Jonathan Majors, reappears after 18 years in prison.  

Things start well but gradually evolve into jealousy and resentment as both men struggle with emotions that are now re-emerging. The emotional core becomes dealing with trauma and learning how to handle it. 

The beauty of the story comes to life in the script. The pacing in this film is top-tier as every scene flows smoothly from one to the next. You always get time to breathe after a heavy story beat before the next one. This is one of the best-paced films I have had the pleasure of watching. 

The characters are all three-dimensional. Everyone has a unique personality, wants, flaws, and arcs that feel personal and still play an essential role in the film. Adonis’ wife, Bianca, played by Tessa Thompson, has a storyline that works in tandem with Damian, causing the two of them to share multiple great scenes. Their difference in ideologies plays throughout the film and were some of my favorite moments. 

Amara, the daughter of Adonis and Bianca, played by Mila Davis-Kent, represents the hopeful future. The scenes she had with her father were always a delight. Whether it was a simple cute moment or a stark reminder of Adonis’ past, she serves as a great addition to the franchise. 

No two people feel the same except for Adonis and Damian, who are designed to. The two are brothers, and because of that, they share many similarities. The way they talk, fight, train—the list continues.  

While they are alike, they are filled with purposeful differences in demeanor. These similarities and differences lead to shared scenes that are fun and leave you on edge. Even when they are at the peak of their conflict, you always get a sense of love and family between the two. They don’t want to fight, but neither is good at words or emotions.  

Fighting is the best they can do, and it feels heartbreaking. 

This leads to the acting of the film. There is no scene where someone feels like they are phoning it in. Every single person is talented and brought their A-Game. The breakout star was Mila Davis-Kent.  

“Creed III” is her debut in a theatrically released movie, and she plays the role of Amara perfectly. Her scenes were always a delight, and she has fantastic delivery. As an actual deaf actress, she took this role very seriously.  

She proudly posted on her Instagram during the film’s release, “I am so honored to be part of the historical film representing inclusiveness and diversity that made the world feel like it’s normal to be Black and Brown, Deaf and use American Sign Language.”  

She has a bright future if this film is anything to go on. 

The true stars, however, come from the two leads. I again have to talk about Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors together because so much of their performance comes from their chemistry.  

These two sell the idea that they have been brothers since childhood.  

Their banter flows smoothly, and it’s as though they can talk to each other like no one else can. So much of this movie hinges on these two being able to express their emotions through facial expressions and body language alone.  

Jordan perfectly sells an Adonis that has matured but still hasn’t learned how to face the past.  

Then there is Majors who acts the opposite. Damian is played with so much confidence and swagger because he hasn’t grown, and this is his way of overcompensating.  

Both men play their characters like they are always on the edge of breaking, especially around each other. These two do a phenomenal job, and they are both Oscar-worthy performances. 

The directing has to be talked about. As stated, this is Jordan’s directing debut, and it is stellar. This film is beautiful. From long shots that pull you into the moment, mirror shots meant to show the disconnect between characters, and a handful of scenes that could perfectly be framed into a poster; Jordan gave this his all.  

No shot feels wasted. Rather than going for the easy and most straightforward shot, Jordan asked, “What best serves the moment?” and found the perfect answer. 

Jordan actually discussed this with Deadline and stated, “If I did something that was safe, I would’ve gotten picked apart. I think we found the right balance in taking some wild creative swings, and that paid off for us.” 

Next, come the fights. All four of them are beautifully shot and choreographed. In fact, the fourth and final fight of the film is the best boxing match to be put to film.  

Jordan and Majors flawlessly execute every move while also showing a wide range of emotions with no words spoken. The phrase “show, don’t tell” can describe the whole scene, elevating this fight far beyond its competitors. 

The fights all feel unique, thanks to Jordan taking inspiration from his love of anime.  

According to him, to bring the feel of anime into the matches, they “used a lot of parallax shots for the fight scenes.”  

These are the moments where the character focuses on an object as the world and camera continue to move around them, the combining and clashing of different speeds for both the main focus and the background.  

He also used impact frames to sell the strength and damage each impact was bringing. Jordan was fearless in getting creative in these fights, which paid off big time. 

The fight scenes being the last thing I talked about in a boxing movie, should be a testament to how phenomenal the rest of the film is. “Creed III” is not just a mindless movie that simply shows the audience flashy fights.  

This movie is the story of two brothers.  

It’s about handling trauma, found family, jealousy and the dangers of letting the idea of “chasing your dream” take over you. These themes are flawlessly executed thanks to the beautiful cinematography, superb acting worthy of an Oscar, great music, excellent pacing and being full of heart and soul. 

I love this movie, and I highly recommend everyone should watch it. I give it a 10/10 and plan to watch it again before it leaves theaters.