Creed III (2023) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

The first the question was can Rocky return. Then the question became can Rocky help usher in a whole new franchise based around his first big nemesis. The new question became: can the movie spin off series go on without Rocky? Rocky has only really played a supporting role in the “Creed” movies but without his connection to the “Rocky” movie universe, could “Creed” thrive? The answer is a resounding and emphatic yes.

Adonis Creed has found immense success in boxing and after one last fight, he’s retired. Now pretty much just a fighting promoter, his past comes back in to his new domestic life when his childhood friend Dame comes back in to town. Freshly out of prison, he’s desperate to become a world championship boxer. But when his less than savory boxing causes a stir in Adonis’ life, he learns some secrets about his old friend that causes a rift between them. Now Adonis has to step in the ring one more time to settle an old score with Dame.

Sylvester Stallone has always been the heart and soul of the series, but Michael B. Jordan displays his own passion and love for the successful “Creed” series. As its own franchise, it maintains the spirit of “Rocky” while also exploring a new character with his own world. Adonis Creed is no longer in Rocky’s world, but now his own man, with his own family, and his own problems. He’s forced to come out of retirement not because of professional obligations but because it’s a necessity to resolve a part of his life that’s haunted him for years. Jordan’s interplay with Jonathan Majors really helps punctuate the personal stakes for Adonis and how this fight is more about two men working through their demons, rather than simple pride.

Along with Jordan taking the reins of the series, “Creed III” also injects its own flavor, allowing for different kinds of boxing matches that are visually engrossing and powerful. Jordan was heavily influenced by anime to help stage the battles in “Creed III” and it lends the film a flair and explosive energy that’s very welcome. “Creed III” is proof that Adonis can stand on his own two feet, and hopefully star and director Jordan can keep Adonis’ story consistent and compelling should future films be considered.

Featured in the new release, there’s Michael B. Jordan: In the Ring/Behind the Camera, a candid ten minutes BTS featurette following the director on and off the set as he balances making the movie with his lead role. Other participants are producers Ryan Coogler and Irwin Winkler, actor Tessa Thompson, and co- screenwriter Kevin Coogler, et al. There’s No Enemy Like the Past: Donnie and Dame is a similar nine minutes piece focuses more on the characters as this featurette outlines Creed III’s double duties as a sequel and origin story. Finally there are three Deleted Scenes, mostly short and mostly inconsequential which includes “Dame Steals Candy for Boy”, “Amara School Hallway”, and “Duke Talks to Adonis in Church”. The two-disc release includes a Digital Copy redemption code; extras can be found solely on the Blu-ray disc.