CinemaJoe’s review published on Letterboxd:
The world wondered, could a movie in the Rocky franchise survive without its titular hero? Creed III answers with a resounding, yes.
I admit, when Michael B. Jordan was saying the fights were inspired by anime, I was a little incredulous. But seeing it in action? Holy shit. Easily the best fight scenes in the entire franchise, maybe in any professional fighting movie (professional being the operative word). It’s been a week and I’m still thinking of the final fight.
The really smart move here, besides overhauling the fight scenes, is changing the entire dynamic of the franchise. For years, we watched Rocky be the underdog in all his stories and in a lot of ways, Adonis is much less of a Balboa character and much more an Apollo, while Majors (who is unsurprisingly perfect) is much more the Rocky figure. It’s this dynamic that keeps the movie consistently fresh and a thrill to watch.
There is this awkward dance around the absence of Rocky. I’m not entirely sure why they choose to ignore it instead of giving us a reason, but it undoubtedly will pull some people out at times— it did for me. But aside from some undercooked relationships, particularly with his daughter, Creed III is triumphant in silencing the doubters and proving this franchise has an iron chin.