(Directed by Michael Jordan)
Rating: ** ½
Watching Creed 3 on Friday night in a near-empty theatre—there were two of us, plus three others—I was reminded rudely of where the movie business finds itself,and it’s way beyond the crossroads.
Creed 3 opened the worldover to rave reviews. Yes, it is superior to the first two parts of the film. There is a serene rhythm to the storytelling even when the characters lose control the underlying mood remains calm. I like the way the screenplay(Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin) constructs the hero Adonis Creed’s inter-personal relationships and how Jordan, an infinitely charismatic actor, plays the character.
As Creed, Jordan is a man plagued by his past, literally, when a childhood hero Damian(Jonathan Majors) shows up in his life looking shipwrecked and lost. Creed immediately feels guilty and protective towards Damian.
The rest of the plot is unapologetically thought not grievously predictable. The storytelling is engaging right till the last bloodied bout , spit-blood and sneer-contests, in the ring. This is Jordan’s first stab at direction. And he has the skills,no doubt. But the film FEELS sterile, emptied-out. Sure, the actors make all the right moves .And the technicians are up to it all right.The problem is, the Creed series doesn’t probe into old wounds as singlemindedly as the Rocky series.
For those who came in late(buying popcorn in a queue takes time) Michael Jordan’s Creed series is in continuation to Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky series. But Creed is not born out of greed. Its raison d’etre is self-explained. I never felt like asking, why the need for another Creed movie? But I did feel the screenplay could have been less anxious to make the right moves. The characters act so much in-character they sometimes feel like puppets.
But the explosive dynamics between Jordan’s Adonis and Majors’d Damian never falter. Although we know exactly how their relationship will eventually pan out, the pace never forfeits grace to catch our attention.
Watch Jordan’s absolutely endearing bonding with his screen daughter (who for no particular reason is mute). I always believe actors who hit it off with kids are born superstars: indigenous examples being Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Kartik Aaryan.