Creed III, Michael B Jordan’s directorial debut wins by technical knockout even without Sylvester Stallone’s legendary Rocky.
Creed III marks Michael B Jordan’s directorial debut, a Hollywood superstar who after picking up the legacy of Sylvester Stallone In front of the camera in the father-son relationship between Rocky Balboa and Adonis Creed enacted in the previous two chapters of the saga decides to continue on his own legs by emulating Stallone himself, who after tentative beginnings with Paradise Tavern (always sports cinema) launched a legendary career as a director and screenwriter right in the rings of the Rocky franchise.
Yet, despite the inevitable ‘first time’ inexperience and of course the burden of being faced with the unenviable task of having to accomplish what is essentially the first film in the Rocky saga without Rocky (Stallone, who does not appear for even a second, remains on board the project with a producer credit, which, however, smacks of mere contentment after public rifts with the saga’s longtime producer Irwin Winkler, whom the star unabashedly called a ‘parasite.’) Against all expectations Creed III wins by technical knockout: credit to the approach of Michael B Jordan, who moves behind the camera as determinedly as he strikes before it.
The classic Hollywood boxing movie reinterpreted with anime form
Michael B Jordan in the opening sequence shows us young Adonis (in flashback) in a room wallpapered with Japanese manga and anime posters, from Naruto to Dragon Ball Z: it is an infinitesimal detail, not even too highlighted and left almost to background duties, yet when the film is concluded it is impossible not to return to consider those quotations a true homage.
In the classic Hollywood boxing movie formula, in fact, the actor/director infuses the anime form and the back-and-forth beatings that distinguish The animated TV series and feature films of the Rising Sun., of whom he is evidently a great fan: for the first time in the saga, the ring stops being a physical place and becomes a mental abstraction, an imagined other space (animated, in fact) in which the two fighters at the center of the tale (Michael B Jordan’s Adonis and the titanic Jonathan Majors, who takes on the role of Kang the Conqueror. by Ant-Man & The Wasp: Marvel Studios’ Quantumania. to play a lethal new boxer who re-emerges from the protagonist’s past) give each other a hard time not only on a physical level, but also on an ethical, moral, and spiritual level.
A boxing match that is not just a boxing match but a duel of worldviews, the clash of two souls that started from the same point but that life has decided to divide by teaching both of them two different ways of approaching the same existence: in staging it, Michael B Jordan crafts one of the most inventive boxing matches in years, coining the language of anime to give a whole new frenzy and emphasis to the noble art on the big screen: shots that look like cartoons from a manga, hyper-fast gestures, vibrant camera movements on every shot.
Easily passing over some narrative ease in the second act, we are confronted with a perfect synthesis between the excitement of Creed and the vigor of Creed 2: stripped away the overly pseudo-arty action of the first chapter and the very weak writing of the second, and added a new way of looking at boxing staging, it remains A third episode that is much more than the sum of its parts.