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On 4K Disc, Creed III Boxes Itself Into a Corner

Images by Eli Ade for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

On Tuesday, May 23rd, Creed III arrived on store shelves in 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD formats. The film was available for digital download and purchases earlier in the month. Besides the dark PR clouds that have more than slightly descended over this film since its record-breaking success at the March box office, the Creed III disc release has its shortcomings matching many other Warner Bros. releases. Our “Off the Shelf” series gives you a look in this boxer’s corner.

A man squats in the corner of a boxing ring in Creed III
Image by Ser Baffo for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures


Film Obsessive reviewed Creed III favorably back in March. Series star Michael B. Jordan stepped into the director’s chair for the first-time which was a move that truly cemented his ownership of this legacy-adjacent series. Starring himself returning with Tessa Thompson as his stalwart wife Bianca, the now-retired Adonis Creed has partnered with Tony “Little Duke” Evers, the son of his father’s trainer, to build up and promote new boxers, trading trunks for a business suit.

Enter Damian “Dame” Anderson, played by the now-polarizing Jonathan Majors. He is a former childhood friend of Donnie’s from his foster care days who is coming home after a nearly two-decade prison sentence. Back in their youth, Dame was the better boxer of the two, and he’s watched his old friend enjoy championships and the lap of luxury his successes afforded him. Dame thinks all of that could have been, and maybe should have been, his instead.

That intimate backstory sets up the collision and clash of mature former blood brothers on the larger stage under the bright lights and big crowds. Jordan aims for a uniquely shot spectacle that takes the series in new visual directions from its Rocky origins. The man made a sturdy piece of rock-solid, crowd-pleasing entertainment that hits the beats, drama, and pugilistic brutality audiences are looking for.


The 4K UHD cover art for Creed III
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

This is where the corner-cutting of Warner Bros. takes over this MGM Studios release. The usual plain-Jane WB menus offer very little pizazz beyond the usual bells and whistles of audio and visual quality that comes with the 4K UHD format. Like many others, even the menu music is lackluster.

From a special features standpoint, one has to wonder if the Johnathan Majors fallout in the court public opinion due to the growing accusations of possible criminal misconduct diluted where this Creed III disc could have gone. Heck, just look at the 4K cover where it’s all Michael B. Jordan instead of both adversaries. Majors at least gets sizable background treatment on the Blu-ray cover. Granted, there is no way to erase him from this movie entirely, yet, you can almost tell they re-edited the behind-the-scenes content and marketing they had planned for this home media rollout. 

The Blu-ray disc cover art for Creed III
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Right off the bat, there is no directors or filmmakers commentary track from Michael B. Jordan or other key figures on the Creed III release. This is pure speculation, but Majors being everywhere in the movie likely would have been unavoidable to talk about and, quite frankly, praise because, clickbait aside, he’s very good in the movie. Had things not soured, Jonathan Majors is a major force and part of this movie’s selling point.

There are two production featurettes on this disc. “Michael B. Jordan: In the Ring/Behind the Camera” chronicles the rotating hats won by the director and lead actor. Original Creed and Black Panther series director Ryan Coogler, who stayed on as a producer, talked up Jordan’s energy to always be a student to the craft with the ambition to reach the next level as a Hollywood player. His encouragement is a ringing endorsement in the 9-minute hit reel of compliments to the main man.

The second featurette is “Donnie and Dame: There’s No Enemy Like the Past.” It shows off the collaboration of Creed III’s two stars meeting in their prime to shift from allies to enemies. It’s a nice feature discussing the origin story of their teamwork and the journey that was the work process to convey their dramatic scenes and still get in boxing shape. Between the two behind-the-scenes selections, this is the one that feels snipped by the controversy cloud.

The only special features that remain on the Creed III Blu-ray and 4K UHD discs are a trio of deleted scenes. In a nice touch, they are each numbered to designate where they would have landed in the completed film. Scene #29 is a brief moment where Dame has returned from prison off the boss and sneaks a stolen lollipop to a nearby kid. Scene #40 extends a parenting scene between Bianca, Adonis, and their daughter Amara that discusses the suggestion to fight back at school. It goes an inconsequential beat longer than what was in the movie. 

Lastly, the deleted Scene #103 is the real gem. It’s a key moment for Wood Harris’s Tony Evers where he shares a private conversation with Adonis in a church after the passing of his mother. It’s an excellent monologue on love and trust that is quite easily one of the best, if not the best, acting opportunities Harris has ever gotten in this series. That one probably should have stayed in a movie that was already conveniently clocking under two hours. 

Written by Don Shanahan

DON SHANAHAN is a Chicago-based Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic writing here on Film Obsessive as the Editor-in-Chief and Content Supervisor for the film department. He also writes for his own website, Every Movie Has a Lesson. Don is one of the hosts of the Cinephile Hissy Fit Podcast on the Ruminations Radio Network and sponsored by Film Obsessive. As a school teacher by day, Don writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. He is a proud director and one of the founders of the Chicago Indie Critics and a voting member of the nationally-recognized Critics Choice Association, Online Film Critics Society, North American Film Critics Association, International Film Society Critics Association, Internet Film Critics Society, Online Film and TV Association, and the Celebrity Movie Awards.

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