Jordan also takes on directing duties for the first time, and reviewers have given the star praise for his debut, one calling it "mightily impressive", while also largely giving the movie strong acclaim too.
Here's what the critics have been saying:
"[Ryan Coogler's] ceded the director’s chair this time to his star, Michael B Jordan, making his debut behind the camera and making a mightily impressive one at that.
"As an actor, his passion for the character and the legacy he’s inherited has always shone through (his performance in the first film should have been Oscar-nominated alongside Stallone) and even though his dual role might sound stunt-y (how many first-time directors start with something so big?), he’s more than up for the job, sleekly taking the baton and sprinting past the finish line to a roar of cheers."
"Jordan’s directorial eye, for the most part, seems carefully trained on maintaining a sense of continuity with his predecessors, Ryan Coogler and Steven Caple Jr. That said, it’s fun to see him let loose in the boxing ring. Tossing aside any impulse for realism, the director – a noted fan of Japanese anime – goes for full-blown, visceral symbolism.
"Creed III, you could argue, is yet another story about Donnie facing up to his past. Yes, that’s technically correct, but what’s truly exciting is to see a franchise so boldly dream of its own future."
"Michael B Jordan makes his directorial debut with Creed III and it turns out he’s an excellent filmmaker, pulling great performances out of his co-stars – and himself – while capturing the series’ iconic fights with strategic clarity."
"In Michael B Jordan’s Creed III, the franchise star adds 'director' to his resume with an ambitious, if cluttered feature debut. And while the basic idea that fuels the central battle of the film is thrilling enough – who would want to go up against Jonathan Majors, let alone a Jonathan Majors driven by righteous anger? – an overcooked script from Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin, full of other diversions and potential disasters, keeps Creed III from landing every punch it throws.
"Overall, though, it does prove victorious: Jordan clearly has directorial skill (it’s his bigger swings that are most energizing), and he and Majors make for a formidable onscreen duo."
"[Directing and acting] may be, to abuse a sporty metaphor, a few too many balls for one man to keep in the air, and Creed III suffers from a certain lack of heft and specificity in its storytelling structure, a sense that the original bare-knuckle magic is not all there. But it's also often better than the blunt-force melodrama of the last film."
"Jordan, working from a script by Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin (the story is by Ryan Coogler, who also serves as a producer), shows dramatic finesse in his staging of the Adonis/Dame relationship, showcasing it as a broken brotherhood that speaks to larger disruptions – the tug between loyalty and violence in dispossessed childhoods.
"Creed III is a sports drama that feels like a thriller with an urgent conscience. It’s a far more dynamic movie than the proficient but formulaic Creed II, even if it can’t match the soulful filmmaking bravura of the first Creed."
Creed III will be out in cinemas on March 3, 2023.
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