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It's belt time again! Fight time. Backstory time. Time for Adonis Creed to once again prove himself, to confront demons of his past we didn't know of prior to this third film of his, and battle it out in the ring once and for all for all.
The underlying plotline's not the most unique, but they manage it so well that I have little to say against it. The soundtrack's amazing - the way it builds both in the beginning and in the initiations of the final fight remind me of the Black Panther soundtrack - the first one especially - which was both so unconventional and so amazingly atmospheric when it builds. It's almost like a horror movie... it's not really, but that soundtrack's just something else, simple though it may be it has moments of such sublimity I get goosebumps hearing it...
Michael B. Jordan's great as always, as Creed, and I was pleasantly surprised to see no other than Jonathan Majors in the opposing role - the same guy who played the big villain in the recent Ant-Man movie. Seems he has a penchant for darker roles. He's as convincing as Michael is.
Creed's family is charming, and make you root all the more for him, though Damian's (Jonathan Majors) lack thereof makes you feel sorry for him too. Always good with a bad guy you can relate to. A bad guy with nuances. With conflict that's both relatable and unfortunate.
What's also unfortunate however is that Sylvester Stallone was played out of this movie.
The directors/actors (this is Michael B. Jordan's first attempt at directing too) are taking a new approach, and it seems they're in some ways changing up the cast...
I don't think it's a bad choice entirely, since I did really enjoy this movie, but when I read up on interviews, reviews and comments Sylvester's made about the choices they've made with this movie after seeing it... I see it a bit differently.
It's sad that Stallone - who definitely made Rocky the legend he's became - and who has been an at least assisting part of the franchise for some ~45 years - is kicked out. That he no longer has any influence in the realm of future production; no rights to the iconic character he'd played for so long.
If naught else it feels disrespectful, and even if the movie turned out amazing I feel like a lot of people will probably downvote it because of this.
Sylvester carried the character on his back for so long.
If they want to make something without him, then why not start over entirely, why not try something new?
To keep the brand name whilst kicking away one of the main cornerstones in it feels wrong. The name carries so much more than the movie does. It's not a franchise name you keep just for sales - even if it helps.
I agree that Michael's emotional showcase is also often a little simple, and that the outcome's a little simple, and the TV interview a little simple, and that they seem to gloss over parts of training or fighting that Sylvester would've put more weight on - in many areas it does feel emotionally lacking and simplified for sake of action more so than personal development and depth - but to maybe counter this the fights definitely have emotion.
The haze in particular was amazing, where the world disappears and it's just the main duo in the ring, with so much tension and aggression. It's a haze that covets not just the crowd but also time, and eight rounds later it's time to end it all... but then again at the end of it all they really don't look sufficiently beat up. That long a fight and there's barely a black eye to show for it. Barely any blood. Is this really realistic?
If it is then kudos - I haven't watched any real boxing matches - but it seems odd...
My first impression after seeing this at the movies was honestly all positive.
I felt like it had a solid backstory, a typical Rocky-like underdog vibe, that it felt a little fast somehow, but was also emotional, heavy, and really... good.
Other people's opinions influence me though. That Sylvester's stamp of approval isn't on this influences me even more.
I thought initially maybe it was his choice to no longer be a part of it - that he felt he was getting a little old, and it'd be best others take over, but then again he did have a training video a while back where if I recall he was training for this, and still was in amazingly good shape for an almost 80-year old dude...
I'm torn y'all. On the big screen this was amazing. But reading up; trying to be more objective... I don't think I can give it more than a...
rated 4.5/5: almost awesome