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The Blog
Likewise PicksMar 8, 20235 min

Winner of the Week - Michael B. Jordan in Creed III

With ‘Creed III,’ Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut breaks records and expands on everything fans love about the 'Rocky' movie franchise.

By John Farrar

Michael B. Jordan sits hunched over in the corner of a boxing ring in this still from Creed III.

Michael B. Jordan crushes the competition as Adonis Creed in his directorial debut of 'Creed III,' the latest entry in the 'Rocky' franchise.

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The Winner

Winner of the Week: Michael B. Jordan

Movie: Creed III

Why Him?

Michael B. Jordan reprises his role as the heavyweight boxing champion Adonis Creed in his anime-inspired directorial debut, Creed III. The third movie in the series (and ninth in the broader Rocky movie franchise), it has surpassed expectations at the box office, raking in $100 million globally on opening weekend.

Unlike the previous movies, Sylvester Stallone does not make an appearance as Rocky Balboa in Creed III. While some longtime Rocky fans might be disappointed by this, it’s clear that the story is no longer dependent on the legacy of Rocky meeting the present. Instead, it’s about Adonis creating and cementing his own legacy. And come on… don’t you think 47 years is enough Rocky content?

While this is Michael B. Jordan’s first time taking the helm on a project of this scale—a $75 million budget is no drop in the bucket—it’s not his first time being a part of massive productions. He’s worked with some of the best filmmakers (like his pal Ryan Coogler when they first worked together on Fruitvale Station), and he's acted on some of the biggest movie sets (including the Black Panther movies), making him a great fit to take responsibility for continuing this beloved franchise.

When it comes to boxing movies, there’s one thing that every fan expects: epic action. I can assure you,_ Creed III_’s fight sequences are the strongest in the franchise—I’m still thinking about the weight of the final battle. Jordan has not been shy in sharing his passion for Japanese anime and manga in interviews over the years but, admittedly, after hearing that the fight sequences in Creed III were inspired by anime, I was doubtful that they would shine as bright as they do. It’s refreshing to see a director pay homage to the media that shaped their style as a filmmaker in a very direct way—even including a Naruto poster in young Adonis’ bedroom.

Jonathan Majors hunched over in the corner of a boxing ring.

Side note: It comes as no surprise that Jonathan Majors is marvelous as Damian Anderson. He’s a worthy opponent for Creed because he can challenge him physically (I mean, look at those muscles!), but he can also tap into a deeper, more emotional side of his character since the two have a history together. We’ve done enough raving about Majors in our previous Winner of the Week, so today we’re going to keep the spotlight on Jordan.

After the biggest opening weekend so far for the trilogy and positive reviews all around, Creed III is on track to be a commercial and critical success. Part of me wishes the series would conclude with this movie because it feels like a great place to end the story. However, the logical part of my brain knows the studios will most likely juice every cent they can out of Creed’s name. That’s not such a bold take considering Michael B. Jordan told Complex: “I feel like the Creedverse is definitely going to expand and grow, and it can go a bunch of different ways.”

Interested in watching Creed III? Add it to your watchlist here!

Likewiser reviews:

Creed III is Michael B. Jordan's directorial debut and he absolutely nailed it. This one steps fully outside of the Stallone's vision and you can see the difference in direction. Characters are given more room to grow and Jonathan Majors gives an excellent performance as the friend-turned-heel. Even the training and fighting montages are handled differently. I enjoyed this one a lot but I hope they leave it here. I can't think of another story to tell for this character. - @clarence_williams_jr

Brotherhood put to the test. Mad love for Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, Creed III finally embraces Adonis as his own entity, and takes the audience to a journey of broken bonds and brotherhood. Johnathan Majors KILLED it as Damian Anderson, and seeing Jordan’s inspirational homage of anime flair into the world of boxing was so refreshing to see! 8.75/10 - @ripleydude

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