Creed III - Blu-ray Review

Michael Scott

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Apr 4, 2017
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Creed III

Movie: :3stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :5stars:
Extras: :2stars:
Final Score: :3.5stars:

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I’ll admit that I was one of the skeptical ones when it was announced that Sly Stallone and Michael B. Jordan were interested in going back to the world of Rocky by introducing Apollo Creed’s never before seen son, Adonis (Michael B. Jordan). It seemed like a desperate move to bring relevance to the dying world of Rocky, but hey, I’m willing to see a good fight movie. Color me more than slightly shocked when 2015’s Creed actually turned in a good story. It was right in the vein of Rocky Balboa’s underdog rise, and Stallone’s involvement as the mentor was fantastic. Creed II was the film that actually shocked me even more. Sequels rarely are as good as their predecessor, but the inclusion of Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago training HIS son to fight against the Americans once more was brilliant. I ended up really enjoying both films and becoming excited about the franchise continuing.

Then came Creed III rumors. At first it seemed like a decent idea, but then the hullabaloo about Michael B. Jordan and Stallone being at odds with the tone of the movie came out, and Stallone himself personally wiped his hands of the franchise and said “good luck”. Still, the first two surprised me, so why not a third time?

The film opens up with a flashback to young Adonis Creed, where he brutally starts beating on the man who beat him as a child in the halfway house, only for the tides to turn and Donnie starts getting whooped again. His best friend Damian steps out of nowhere to defend his friend, only for the cops to show up and take Damian away for possession and assault just as he was about to break into the pro fighting circuit. Fast forward 18 years and Adonis is retired. He and Bianca (Tessa Thompson) are living the life of easy and luxury. An ex champion prize fighter, an award winning singer/producer, and a child at home. Nothing could be better.

However, Damian (Jonathan Majors) shows up having gotten out of jail and wants to get his life on track. Even though it’s been 18 years of confinement, he wants a shot at the title belt and begs Adonis to give him the chance Apolla gave Rocky, and Rocky gave Adonis. Against his better judgment, Adonis figures out a way to get him into a title match as the underdog when young Drago has to drop out (kind of a lame way to get rid of the Dragos from the last film). Instead of getting beaten in public due to his age and time away from the ring, Damian pulls some dirty tricks and actually WINS the title belt.

Being that we’re only like 40 minutes into the movie you can be sure that’s not the rousing end fight you would expect. Turns out Damian has been playing Adonis this whole time, manipulating him into getting the title shot so that he can ram 18 years of anger, resentment, and hatred right back on Donnie’s head. In true Rocky fashion, there is only one way for Adonis to regain his honor and put Damian back in his place. The champ has to come from retirement and take Damian on in a head to head match for the title.

I sadly didn’t get to see Creed III in the theaters (I try to make most big blockbusters these days simply to support the weakened theater industry), but I can understand why Stallone wanted out. The film plays a much darker tone than the previous two films, and actually sort of copies Rocky III and Rocky V’s themes a bit too much. Not to mention that it seems to lack the heart of Creed and Creed 2. There’s all the right themes and scenarios in place, but I never got excited for the matches. I never got into the drama between Damian and Donnie, and at the end of the film I sort of felt like I had watched a cookie cutter attempt at redoing Rocky III. Even to the point of them remaking the villain from Rocky III and tweaking him a bit.


Rated PG-13 for intense sports action, violence and some strong language.

Video: :4stars:
Warner has lately been slacking in their Blu-rays compared to their 4K UHD counterparts (the same thing happened to DVD when Blu-ray took over with many studios), but Creed III manages to look better than most. Again, like the 4K UHD encode, I don’t find many faults with the encode itself, but rather the hazy and unique stylized look that the cinematography is prone to. The same muted colors and gauzy haze sourrounds the night shots, but I do notice some distinct banding and black crush as well (something 4K just seems to handle better). Fine details are generally good during those shots, but shine during the ring sequences (especially that final one) and show moderate improvement in the training outdoor shots. All in all, it’s a very good encode with some minor artifacting to keep it from looking incredible. Well done.

Audio: :5stars:
Unlike Shazam! Fury of the Gods we’re not getting any Disney-Lite low recorded volume levels here. This is pure, raw, powerful sports action at it’s finest, and the Dolby Atmos track is one of the most immersive mixes I’ve heard recently. As is the case with most sports films, the track can be a bit quiet and somber with all of the dialog heavy sequences, but the constant training and chaotic nature of Los Angeles really brings the surround capabilities out with the hip hop score and the hubbub of the city. The fights though, those are nothing short of magnificent. You are put right into the screaming crowd and can almost feel every punch as the gloves impact on human flesh. Earth shaking bass emanates from the pulsating score, as well as adding bone crunching depth to those hits. Surrounds and overheads get used extensively during the arena sequences, with voices and screams literally sounding as if they’re coming from all directions. Simply perfect.

Extras: :2stars:
• Michael B. Jordan: In the Ring/Behind the Camera – featurette
• There’s No Enemy Like the Past: Donnie and Dame – featurette
• Deleted Scenes

Final Score: :3.5stars:

Is Creed III bad? No, I personally don’t think so. It’s a decent action/sports movie, with plenty of fighting, the trademark underdog Rocky Balboa training sequences. BUUUUUT, the film feels a bit empty and hollow to where it feels like a moderate step down from Creed and Creed II. The 4K UHD disc looks and sounds pretty great though, but the mediocre extras and middle of the road story keeps me from giving a full two thumbs up. Solid watch for boxing fans, just don’t go in expecting see the next Top Gun: Maverick.

Technical Specifications:

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Jonathan Majors, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Phylicia Rashad, Florian Munteanu
Directed by: Michael B. Jordan
Written by: Keenan Coogler, Zach Baylin
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), English, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles:English SDH, French (Canadian), French, Spanish, German, Italian
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 116 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: May 23rd, 2023

Recommendation: Decent Watch

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