Saturday, June 22, 2024

Korked Bats

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3 Big Things on ‘CREED III’ – A SPOILER-FREE Review

It’s a very exciting day for ol’ Ken. I finally got to check the BOXING category box in WordPress for SEO purposes. I’ve become such a creature of habit checking the ENTERTAINMENT and MOVIES boxes. It’s nice to switch things up for a change.

Anyways, enough about me. Let’s talk CREED III. What a movie. It’s easily rivals the original CREED and finds itself firmly in the Top-5 All-Time Rocky Cinematic Universe movies–a fact you could not have convinced me of prior to seeing it. If you know me well, you know I believe two things very firmly: 1. I believe the original ‘ROCKY’ is a masterpiece (it’s my favorite film of all time) and 2. Sylvester Stallone was robbed of an Oscar for his performance in CREED back in 2015. So knowing that Sly was going to “Milford Man”-it for CREED III did not sit well with me. Luckily, all of those fears subsided after about 20 minutes; CREED III had me roped in completely.

So are you on the fence about whether or not to see CREED III? Here are 3 Big Things to consider:

1. Jonathan Majors is outstanding.

I announced this to the other CineBoiz via text, and I’ll officially announce it here; I’m running for president in 2024. My platform? PUT JONATHAN MAJORS IN EVERY MOVIE. I truly believe it will fix whatever you feel is ailing the United States of America. Jonathan Majors is possibly (with the exception of Adam Driver) the best young actor currently working. His performance here as Diamond Dame Anderson only confirmed that sentiment for me. It’s authentic, heart-breaking, menacing and magnetic. He has proven himself to be a generational talent with a relatively small sample-size of work. He absolutely steals the show.

So far this year we’ve gotten remarkable performances from him in two blockbuster films, and its only March. Between those and his buzzworthy performance in the upcoming MAGAZINE DREAMS, 2023 is shaping up to be the year of Jonathan Majors.

2. Some of the dialogue and delivery is a bit much

To be fair, this complaint isn’t exclusive to CREED III. This is probably my biggest complaint across every Creed and Rocky film. At this point, you could almost say it’s a franchise tradition to have some of the cheesiest dialogue and line-delivery. For how unique and well told this story is, there are still certainly lines of dialogue that made me absolutely cringe. In particular, a scene with Adonis Creed joining First Take to talk with Stephen A. Smith had me squirming.

The good news though, much like with 2015’s CREED, for every rough line or over-the-top delivery there are about twenty well written and well acted moments to make up for it. I’ll stop gushing over Jonathan Majors for a minute to also praise Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson’s performances as well. These characters continue to grow and develop in an organic way that keeps on making us want more of them…but maybe we can tone-down the cheese factor a bit for CREED IV.

3. This is the Michael B. Jordan show now, and we’re in GREAT hands.

Perhaps you didn’t hear, but CREED III is MBJ’s directing debut. Furthermore, you already know from my previous trepidation that Sylvester Stallone is no where to be found in this movie. No cameo, no explanation–barely any mention is made of Rocky Balboa. That is now 100% ok with me. The story being told here is Adonis Creed’s and it is a unique departure from anything we seen from the ROCKY franchise. It takes some BIG SWINGS both with the story and technical aspects, but it completely works. I don’t see that happening without Michael B. Jordan and his vision for these characters. I think it is very likely that we will get a CREED IV, and my advice to Michael B. Jordan is to keep swinging for the fences.

VERDICT: 4 out of 5 Stars

So what do you think? Be sure to let us know how you feel on Twitter (@korkedbats; @thecineboiz) and Instagram (@korkedbats2; @thecineboiz). Also, be sure to follow Korked Bats on YouTube and The Cineboiz on Twitch to catch us live, and subscribe to The CineBoiz Podcast wherever podcasts are found!


Kenny lives in Austin, TX and is one of the co-hosts of the CineBoiz Podcast. When he isn’t talking about or watching movies he can be found kicking it with Mickie the Dog and re-watching the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl 54 for the 25th time.