Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 03/03/2023
Production Company: United Artists Releasing/MGM

Michael B. Jordan, Jonathan Majors,
Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, Florian Munteanu, Spence Moore II, Tony Bellew and Selenis Leyva.

Director: Michael B. Jordan. Producers: Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, William Chartoff, Dezi Gallegos, Jonathan Glickman, Angelo 'D' Lo' Louis, Brian M. O'Neill, Elizabeth Raposo, Charles Winkler, David Winkler and Irwin Winkler. Executive Producers: Zinzi Coogler, Sev Ohanian, Adam Rosenberg and Nicolas Stern. Screenwriters: Ryan Coogler, Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin. Cinematographer: Kramer Morgenthau.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Make no mistake about it, the "Creed" movie franchise is in very good hands with Michael B. Jordan at the helm.

The 36-year-old multi-talented actor, who recently received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has come a long way from his breakout role in Ryan Coogler's 2013 critically acclaimed movie, "Fruitvale Station." Even before that Jordan was doing his thing in TV shows like "Friday Night Lights," "The Wire" and "All My Children" among others.

However, with "Creed III," not only does Jordan reprise his role as "Adonis Creed" in stunning fashion, he also makes an impressive directorial debut.

In "Creed III," we see Adonis (Jordan) is adjusting well to retirement from boxing. He has more time to spend with his beautiful music producer wife, Bianca (an excellent Tessa Thompson, "Passing" and "Sylvie's Love") and play with his cute as a button and hearing impaired daughter, Amara (Mila Davis-Kent, TV's "The Resident").

Adonis hasn't completely abandoned boxing. He also hangs at the Delphi Academy with trainer Tony "Little Duke" Evers (a terrific Wood Harris, "Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty") mentoring and promoting fighters like reigning champ Felix Chavez (Jose Benavidez, TV's "ESPN Top Rank Boxing").

Things quickly change when Adonis walks out of the gym and sees some guy leaning against his shiny Rolls-Royce. At first, he doesn't recognize that it's his old friend Damian Anderson (a superb Jonathan Majors, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania").

Adonis and Damian were like brothers. They grew up together in a foster home in Los Angeles and looked out for each other. Damian had his sights set on being a pro boxer too, but a stupid and violent mistake at a liquor store landed the kid in jail for 20 years. Now he's out angry, hungry and eager to make a fresh start and prove that he still has what it takes to be a championship boxer.

Damian wants Adonis to hook him up and get him in the ring. Adonis tells Damian it doesn't work like that only to be reminded by Damian that's exactly how it worked when his father arranged a match for a guy named Rocky. It's a guilt trip that Adonis can't shake, yet everyone else seems to think Damian is up to no good. They have plenty of reasons to be suspicious too.

Talk about timing. It just so happens that Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu, "The Contractor") who is set to fight Felix (Benavidez) in a huge bout is attacked and injured by an unknown suspect. Now he can't fight. Who can possibly step into the ring for Felix? Well, it’s Damian. It's a long shot and one which Tony (Wood) doesn't want any part of, but Adonis decides to go along with.

It's a bruising championship fight and Damian is willing to win at all costs. He does become the champ and soon enjoys all the adulation that it brings. However, when Adonis' sickly mother Mary Anne (Phylicia Rashad, TV's "The Good Fight") reveals to Adonis Damian's true colors and intentions, he's ticked off.

When Adonis approaches Damian about “playing him” and Damian humiliates him, the two vow to handle their business in the ring. It's on now.

I would say cue the Rocky theme song here, but Sylvester Stallone isn't in the film. It's the first one without him, although he is a co-producer of the movie. Still, as much as "Creed III" solidly stands on its own, there is a "Rocky-esque" vibe to it especially when Adonis and Damian are fiercely training for the huge match. The fight scenes in “Creed III” are spectacular, particularly when the big explosive shots are captured closeup and in slow motion.

It's hard to avoid using some of the boxing movie cliches to describe "Creed III" like it packs a punch, it goes the distance, it's a winner and is a real knockout. That's because Screenwriters Ryan Coogler, his brother Keenan Coogler ("Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"/"Black Panther") along with Zach Baylin ("King Richard") have crafted a story that is undisputedly remarkable.
Surely, there has to be a “Creed IV” now.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Look At This Trailer For "CREED III"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


<b> That Man Bolt</b> Title: That Man Bolt
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Henry Levin and David Lowell Rich
Director of Photography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
Screenwriter: Charles Johnson and Ranald MacDougall
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Updated Feature--2023

After Fred "The Hammer" Williamson carved out a stellar career as a defensive back in the National Football League with teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs (Williamson played in Super Bowl I), The Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers, Williamson tackled Hollywood and became an...
Which one of the following TV shows was re-made into a big screen movie and starred Fred "The Hammer" Williamson?
"Starsky & Hutch"
"Charlie's Angels"
"Hawaii Five-O"