It look like the Rocky franchise has no intention of ending. Like… ever. I think I’ve lost count on how many movies were made, but I can’t say I don’t enjoy them. Okay, except for Rocky five, but honestly, who does enjoy that one. That’s why I wasn’t too excited when I heard the news of a Creed movie coming back in 2015. I just figured, “Wow, another one?” and my enthusiasm for it was low. Then, I went to go see the movie itself and I pretty much ate my words like Rocky ate punches. The first Creed is now my favorite of the whole franchise. Yes, even above the first Rocky.
It was good. Really good. That’s why it made enough money to spawn another sequel. The sequel expanded the tragic personal lives of the aging Rocky Balboa and our new champion, Adonis “Donnie” Creed. That alone was enjoyable to watch, but the sequel delivered on some poetic justice. Donnie’s opponent in the sequel was Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago. That’s right, the man who killed Donnie’s father, the famous Apollo Creed (my favorite character), came back to regain his former glory. Bringing back Drago got me excited, because I was particularly interested in seeing some justice done for Apollo. It was justice well served, as Donnie suffered one defeat from Viktor, but just like Rocky, he made one heck of a comeback.
Creed 2 ended on a very satisfying note, with Donnie and Bianca visiting Apollo’s grave and Rocky reconnecting with his estranged son, Robert, and meeting his grandson. You ask me, that was the best way to end their stories. Heck, even the Dragos got a satisfying conclusion to their stories. Once again, the Creed movies surprised me. I didn’t dig the second one as much as the first one, but the best part about it was that it gave every character a good conclusion.
So the whole franchise should end there, right? Yeah, we probably should’ve known better. Just recently, it’s been reported that Michael B. Jordan himself might very well be directing the third Creed movie. Is that really good news? First of all, if this news is true, then Creed 3 would be Jordan’s directorial debut. Normally, I wouldn’t condone a first-time director for a movie that’s a part of a big franchise. However, Jordan has starred in two movies of this franchise and he’s seen how they are made. His advantage lies in how much money it took to make the Creed films. Compared to the big-budget movies we see during the summer, the Creed movies weren’t that expensive to make. Heck, they didn’t even make truck loads of money, but enough to break even.
This is crucial to Jordan’s success if he’s going to direct the next Creed movie. He’s been on the set as the lead actor on both films and is familiar with the material. Not to mention that he’s got Ryan Coogler as a reference. Despite Jordan’s lack of directing experience, I believe it’s his dedication to the franchise and connections that can enhance his fledgling directing skills. If he does succeed, I reckon he’ll be directing a lot more in the years to come. I won’t mind, but one thing that has me worried is the story they have in mind for Creed three. I mean, seriously, what direction can they possibly go in now?
On one hand, I do want to see Donnie’s story continue. I would like to see how he’s handling his marriage, which I assume is a happy one. His biggest challenge would be raising their deaf daughter and learning how to raise her. That was probably the most emotional part of Creed 2, when he first realized that she was born deaf. It’s something that he and Bianca both feared would happen, but were still unprepared for. Watching them finally accept it and beginning to live with it was just the start of their lives. Donnie could take the heaviest of punches in the ring, but when it comes to family, that’s the toughest fight of them all. That will be his personal battle, but we must all remember the origins of the franchise.
Where there’s a great personal battle outside the ring, there must be a good old-fashioned boxing match in the ring itself. It wouldn’t be a part of the Rocky franchise if there wasn’t. That’s one of the many reasons Rocky five was just not good. The Creed movies really fixed that mistake and gave us some very epic boxing matches. First it was a Ricky Conlon, the arrogant champion, then Viktor Drago, the son of the man who killed his father in the ring. In my opinion, that makes for the best final opponent that Donnie should ever face. It was a personal battle for him to the highest degree and he gained much after his victory. Not only did he avenge his father, but he found satisfaction in what he had and chose to live for it.
Now, he’s no longer obsessed with fighting for his father’s legacy. He just wants to do right by his family. I’m guessing Michael B. Jordan is going to have to think of a pretty good reason to bring Donnie back into the ring. I think he, better than anyone, would know the character best and knows exactly what would get him back into the ring. I just hope he doesn’t make it a cliche and predictable reason. That’s really the trap the Rocky movies fell into. Rocky had his big shot at the title and he won it, but then he had to fight again and again… and again. His reasons were ultimately the same; he just liked being a fighter and he won against bigger, stronger opponents because he believed in himself. It became fun to watch, but it was all the same formula.
That’s a problem that I didn’t want to befall on the Creed movies. After I got done watching the second one, I first thought, “If a third one is made, will Donnie fight the son of Clubber Lang?” If that were to happen, then it would probably be fun to watch, but it would be totally ridiculous. As much as I would like to see Clubber Lang again, I don’t think Creed three will benefit from including him. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure who Donnie should fight next. All I know is that he needs to be a major threat to Donnie in order to make him fight again. Why would he ignore his family to fight again? I almost picture it as Rocky 3 style, but that would just be something we’ve already seen before.
This is something that Michael B. Jordan needs to do differently if he’s going to direct Creed 3. That’s a challenge that will really put his creativity to the test. If he makes it work, then he has a fine directing career ahead of him. So do we really need a third Creed movie? I want to say yes, but the only way it would work is if Jordan breaks away from the cliche Rocky formula and give us something new. I think he can do it and if he does, then we’re in for another awesome Creed movie. Oh, and we know he’ll add in a big, inspiring training montage, so if you want something to get you going, we can at least count on that.