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Creed III changes direction tackling darker themes and chilling violence

Sienna Thompson explores the changes that have been made for Creed III in comparison to prior films, involving a full breakdown of every aspect of the filming. Read further to find out more...

By Sienna Thompson, English, Second Year

The third instalment in the Creed (2015- ) film series has hit cinemas after a five year wait. However, have too many changes been made this time around? And should this mark the end of the famous boxing series?

Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) has retired from boxing, ready to focus on his family and to build up Delphi gyms with the new generation of boxers. However, childhood friend and former boxing prodigy Damian Anderson (Jonathon Majors) resurfaces after time in prison, determined to prove he has not finished with the boxing world.

Courtesy of Eli Ade, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures on IMDB

As always Jordan gave a knockout performance as Creed, he embodies this character so personally and commits physically to the fullest, but Majors gave a sensational performance as ‘Dame’ and slightly stole the show.

The tension created between him and Creed was chilling, and his complex character proved an interesting reflection on Creed; the two are not always likeable but they are able to elicit sympathy with their backstories. Added to this darker theme, the film used much more ‘dirty boxing’ to emphasise its grittiness.  

Courtesy of Ser Baffo, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures on IMDB

A very noticeable absence from this film is Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). I found myself constantly wondering when they would explain what happened to his character, yet was not even given a name mention, let alone a physical appearance. I then discovered that Stallone chose not to participate due to differences with producer Irwin Winkler, as well as being opposed to the film's dark and violent creative direction.

In comparison to the trilogy’s predecessor film series Rocky (1976-2006) and the first two Creed films, Creed III is certainly different. It obliterates any family friendly atmosphere, something which is represented in the very noticeable absence of the Rocky theme song that the other films contained. Considering this is the film where Creed now has a family, it was an interesting turn to make it more violent rather than less.

Courtesy of Eli Ade, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures on IMDB

However, the soundtrack is much better, with this one being produced by Dreamville. The film even went as far as to physically include Kehlani in the film to sing her song ‘Shadows’ for Bianca (Tessa Thompson). I do feel Bianca as a character has become less relevant for this film, which could be due to the presence of their daughter Amara (Mila Davis-Kent) or Creed's mum's (Phylicia Rashad) medical issues.

Her influence lives on with Amara who must communicate through ASL, and the cast's dedication to learning this. Increased diversity and disability awareness can sometimes be overshadowed in blockbuster action films, so it was refreshing to see.

As well as this is the dedication to keep the boxing accurate to the real world. Whilst the fights are obviously choreographed to look good on the big screen,  the film includes big brands associated with boxing, such as DAZN, and actual boxers, such as Canelo Álvarez.

Courtesy of IMDB

Now that a trilogy has been completed, many are wondering if this is the end for Adonis Creed. I personally feel the series wrapped up his storyline perfectly and gave many fans closure.

If he was to feature in other projects set in the same universe that could potentially be brilliant, but as far as a Creed IV, I think it would be burning out the series.

Featured Image: Courtesy of Eli Ade, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures on IMDB

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