Creed III is a sports drama that follows Adonis as he faces off against his childhood friend and former boxing prodigy Damian Anderson, played by Jonathan Majors. The film explores themes of family, legacy, redemption and identity as Adonis struggles to balance his personal life with his professional career.
Today I’m going to conduct an in-depth analysis of Creed III, the latest installment in the Rocky franchise and the directorial debut of Michael B. Jordan, who also stars as Adonis Creed, the son of Apollo Creed.
Table of Contents
Plot Summary of Creed III: Who are Adonis and Damian?
The film begins with a flashback to 2002 Los Angeles, where we see a young Adonis sneaking out with Damian to watch him compete in an underground boxing match. Damian is a Golden Gloves champion who has aspirations to turn professional and become a world champion. However, on their way back home, they encounter a man named Leon. Adonis impulsively attacks Leon and gets into a fight with him. Damian tries to help Adonis but ends up bringing out his gun on Leon. This incident leads to Damian being arrested and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Fast forward to 2022, Adonis has become a successful boxer who has won several titles and defeated Ricky Conlan in a rematch. He decides to retire from boxing to focus on his family: his wife Bianca, played by Tessa Thompson, who is a singer-songwriter and producer; and their daughter Amara, played by Mila Davis-Kent, who was born deaf and communicates through sign language.
Adonis also runs his own boxing academy called Delphi where he trains young fighters and mentors them. He seems content with his life but deep down he still feels restless and unsatisfied.
Meanwhile, Damian is released from prison and returns to LA. Damian sees an opportunity to challenge Adonis’ student Felix Chavez for the title belt that he believes rightfully belongs to him. Damian beats Felix brutally and becomes the undisputed champion. Later, Adonis challenges Damian to a title fight, and we get ready for the amazing final fight of the movie.
The film builds up tension by showing both fighters preparing for the showdown, each with their own motivations, doubts, fears, hopes, and dreams. The fight itself is intense, thrilling, and emotional. It goes back and forth between both fighters, each landing powerful blows on each other. The crowd cheers for both of them, recognizing their skills, courage, and heart. In the amazing final round, Adonis knocks Damian out and finally, wins the fight.
In the end, they look at each other with respect, admiration, understanding. They realize that they are not enemies but brothers. They have more in common than they thought. They both love boxing because it gives them purpose, identity, and freedom. They both honor Apollo because he inspired them, taught them, and shaped them into what they are now.
Cinematography of Creed III: Long Takes, Tracking Shots, Color, and Symbolism
One of the aspects that makes Creed 3 stand out is its cinematography by Kramer Morgenthau. The film uses a variety of camera techniques to create different moods and effects. For example, the film often uses long takes and tracking shots to follow the characters’ movements and actions, especially during the boxing scenes. This creates a sense of realism and immersion for the audience, as if we are witnessing the fights firsthand.
The film also uses handheld cameras and shaky movements to convey tension and urgency, such as when Adonis and Damian fight during Damian’s title-winning party. The film also uses slow motion and close-ups to emphasize important moments and emotions, such as when Adonis hugs his daughter before heading to the fight.
The film also uses color and lighting to contrast different settings and situations. For instance, the film uses warm colors like yellow, orange, and red to depict Adonis’ home life in LA, where he enjoys a comfortable and happy lifestyle with his family. The film also uses bright lights and natural sunlight to create a cheerful and optimistic atmosphere.
On the other hand, the film uses cool colors like blue, green, and purple to depict Damian’s life in prison, where he suffers from isolation, violence, and despair. The film also uses dark shadows and artificial lights to create a gloomy and oppressive atmosphere.
The film also uses color symbolism to represent different characters’ personalities. Adonis wears white or light-colored clothes throughout most of the film, indicating his purity, innocence, honesty, and integrity. Damian wears black or dark-colored clothes throughout most of the film, indicating his corruption, guilt, deception, and aggression.
How Music Elevates the Magic of Creed III
Another aspect that makes Creed III memorable is its music by Joseph Shirley. The film features a mix of original score and licensed songs that reflect different genres, cultures, and eras. The original score consists of orchestral music that blends classical elements with modern beats. The score also incorporates motifs from previous Rocky films by Bill Conti.
The licensed songs include hip-hop tracks by artists like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J Cole; rock songs by bands like AC/DC; soul songs by singers like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding; and pop songs by artists like Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and Ed Sheeran. The licensed songs reflect the diversity and richness of American culture and music history. They also match the tone and mood of different scenes and characters.
The music also plays a significant role in developing the relationship between Adonis and Bianca. Both of them are passionate about music and use it as a way of expressing themselves and connecting with each other. In a scene, Bianca’s song is performed by a singer at a charity event that Adonis organizes for his boxing academy. The song is called “Fight For You” and it expresses Bianca’s support and encouragement for Adonis.
The music also plays a crucial role in building up the tension and excitement for the final fight between Adonis and Damian. The film uses two different songs to introduce each fighter as they enter the ring.
The film also uses a new song for the final round of the fight, when both fighters are exhausted and injured. The song is called “Creed III” by Joseph Shirley, and it features vocals by Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors. The song is a powerful and emotional duet that reflects both fighters’ perspectives and feelings. The song also serves as a climax and a resolution for the film’s story and themes.
The music of Creed III is one of the film’s highlights and strengths. It enhances the film’s drama, action, romance, humor, and message. It also pays tribute to the film’s predecessors and influences while creating its own identity and style.
The film is a powerful and inspiring story that resonates with audiences of different backgrounds and generations. The film is not only a great sports drama, but also a great human drama. The film is not only a tribute to the Rocky franchise, but also a tribute to the spirit of boxing and life. Thank you so much if you stayed till here. Stay tuned for more movie and TV show analysis. Until next time!