Michael B. Jordan’s Directorial Debut – Creed III


Annika Nickel, Staff Writer

Michael B. Jordan returns as Adonis Creed in his directorial debut with the seemingly final movie of the “Creed” trilogy. This time, he has already dominated the boxing world beyond belief, started a family, and retired from the ring. While adjusting to the family lifestyle, Adonis is additionally adjusting to fatherhood and having a daughter who is deaf, played by Mila-Davis Kent, and wife Bianca (Tessa Thompson) who is hard of hearing. As a big time music producer, Bianca’s career is highlighted a little more in this movie as it supports the representation of the deaf and hard of hearing community. 


“We have English. We have Spanish. We have ASL. And then we have the fighting language we explore in the final fight,” said Jordan in his recent interview with IndieWire. He describes the movie as quadrilingual, and that the inclusion of ASL just made sense to the story. It was a looming question in “Creed II” as to whether or not Amara, Bianca and Adonis’ daughter, would have issues with hearing from the time she was born. 


They developed the storyline and represented a different community very well. They even proved that being deaf or hard of hearing will not stop you from doing what you love. 


Michael B. Jordan shows great ambition in this film, as it is his first time directing a full length feature film. He is captivating on both sides of the camera, showing a new style of filmmaking in boxing as he directs, and emotional depth in his character, son of Apollo. 


Sylvester Stallone is the one part of this movie that is missing for me. He decided to step away from the franchise after “Creed II,” and announced in an interview he just “wasn’t loving the way the story was going.” As a long time Rocky fan, I was disappointed to hear that he was no longer going to be a part of the spin-off series and I think personal issues within the franchise had impacts on the creation and quality of this movie. 


Many critics believe that this movie did not need Rocky and it was fine on its own, and I can only see their perspective coming from the introduction of a new character, Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors). I thought Jonathan Majors was the best addition to this movie. In the film, he and Adonis have a long, dark history, and apparently some unfinished business. He brings a fire to the “Creed” series that had not necessarily been explored yet, and I knew there would need to be a dive into Creed’s upbringing to continue the saga. I do think with this storyline they aged Adonis too quickly, but that goes back to personal issues with the producers and wanting to possibly wrap the story up. 


The very best parts of this movie were the representation of the deaf and hard of hearing community, the cast, and the new directing style. Michael B. Jordan was just flawless in his commitment to the story and his character, as well as creating something fresh in the depth of his directorial debut. He made executive decisions on the writing, and did the entire Rocky story justice, while still respecting that Creed was its own thing. 


It was hard for me to get past the absence of Sly, but otherwise this movie was incredible. The soundtrack by Dreamville was also an honorable mention, as well as the inclusion of Latino representation with brief character and real-life professional boxer, Teófimo López playing Felix Chavez. 


I saw the movie the day it debuted on the I-MAX screen, and it is absolutely worth watching. It is thrilling, emotional, sincere, and so much fun all at once, and a great wrap up to this part of the very famous “Rocky” series.