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In the third installment of the sports drama series, directed by Michael B. Jordan, Jordan stars as heavyweight champ Adonis (“Donnie”) Creed, son of boxing legend Apollo Creed, alongside Jonathan Majors as his childhood friend-turned-rival, Damien (“Dame”). The trilogy picks up after the events of “Creed II,” with Donnie preparing to face off against Dame in a fight that proves to go much deeper than just boxing.
It’s the first entry in the long-running series, without Sylvester Stallone, who originated the role of Rocky Balboa and returned in the spinoffs as a mentor to Adonis.
“Creed III” also marks Jordan’s directorial debut. “I’m not ignorant of the blessings and opportunities that I’m given,” Jordan told Variety at the film’s world premiere in Mexico City. “At the same time, 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.”
“Creed III” is, as Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman writes in his review, “a sports drama that feels like a thriller with an urgent conscience. It’s a far more dynamic movie than the proficient but formulaic ‘Creed II,’ even if it can’t match the soulful filmmaking bravura of the first ‘Creed.'”
He continues: “Jordan, however, gives what may be his fullest performance yet as Adonis: now proud, now anxious, now valiant, now tearful, now at the end of his rope. As a director, he paces the movie well and stages the boxing matches with a brutal imaginative precision.”
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