“I spent the last seven years of my life, living my wildest dreams” said by the now world famous Adonis Creed. Throughout Creed and Creed II, Adonis (also nicknamed Donnie) has been through a lot of inner battles that he has had to deal with in order to perform at his best. The pressure of stepping into the ring under his father’s shadow, saving his bloodline’s boxing legacy, as well as preserving a marriage and a newborn child, are just a few of the many challenges that Donnie has overcome. His unforgettable fights against Ricky Conlan Viktor Drago and his impressive record of twenty-five wins with twenty-four knockouts and only one loss (which resulted by a split decision), puts any upcoming fight at incredibly high stakes. From here on out, his legacy would be put to the ultimate test, but is there anyone who could destabilize Donnie’s career?
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Adonis has grown from a vulnerable young man with the mentorship of Rocky Balboa to a hardened and mature boss. With his wife Bianca (Tessa Thompson) and daughter Amara (Mila Davis Kent) doing well, his peace made with the history of his father, and a solid foundation influenced by Rocky that led him to becoming the light heavyweight champion, Adonis has earned the right to live his best life.
Yet, even with the world he is now able to carry on his broadened shoulders, there’s still a few cracks that stem deep into his childhood that put his newfound kingship at risk. The past is still there, and it comes back to haunt him 18 years later when Damian “Dame” Anderson (Jonathan Majors) abruptly comes back around. The trailer unleashes a lot of interesting dialogue from Damian, where it puts Adonis’s appraisal and indestructible toughness to question:
“You don’t remember me huh?”
“I know I have been away a long time, but I’ve kept myself in shape…I still got gas in the tank.”
When Bianca starts to ask questions, Damian tells Donnie’s wife “Oh he didn’t tell you, we was like brothers. I was the best though, but I never got a chance to prove that.” The trailer strategically brings up a moment of tension which quickly escalates as soon Damian yells “I’m going for everything!”
We can guess that coming out of eighteen years of prison comes with a lot more grit compared to a more or less privileged upbringing filled with well-maintained training and nutrition plans. Avoiding defeat in the big ring is one thing, but surviving in a jail cell could be something completely different. It is clear Damian has a lot of time to make up for, which opens a possibility that his self vengeance and determination may challenge Adonis’s current status on the podium. Perhaps Damian feels as though Adonis has claimed what deserves to be his own, and it will be really interesting to see what kind of baggage the pair have that transforms their former brother-like friendship into an adversarial conflict.
In the middle of the trailer, Donnie depicts a sense of confusion and uncertainty as Donnie’s trainer tells him “I know what you’re doing Donnie, you don’t owe this dude nothing!” The defending champion struggles with some sort of dilemma he has with Damian as he argues to Damian “I vouched for you man!” and also tells another that “Damian was like family.” Towards the end of the trailer, the audience can speculate an emotional unraveling that explores the theme of fear and guilt. Perhaps when Donnie and Damian confront their differences in the long awaited fight, we will have a better sense of the context voiced by Donnie’s trainer at the end of the trailer:
“I need you to let go of your fear…let go of the guilt…let go of whatever was…and walk into what is.”
Although Sylvester Stallone’s iconic Rocky Balboa isn’t going to be with us in Creed III, that doesn’t mean he isn’t with us at heart! After all, without Rocky, we wouldn’t have been here with Michael B Jordan’s successful Creed franchise. Before watching the film, don’t forget one of Rocky’s most memorable quotes:
“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re with. But you gota be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” ~ Rocky Balboa.
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