The third installment of Creed has an interesting storyline involving a conflict between siblings, portrayed by Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis and Jonathan Majors’ “Diamond Dame.” However, the television show Warrior executed a similar storyline more effectively.
Creed III features Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed facing his toughest fight yet against someone he knows from childhood. Despite retiring from boxing, Adonis is drawn back into the ring after his ex-best friend, Damian Anderson, returns to Los Angeles and becomes a successful fighter by defeating one of Adonis’ own.
The character of Jonathan Major “Diamond Dame” adds to the intense conflict, as Adonis struggles to reconcile his feelings towards Damian, whom he still considers a brother. However, when it comes to exploring sibling rivalry, Creed III doesn’t compare to the portrayal in the television series Warrior, starring Tom Hardy.
The sibling rivalry in Creed III feels unimaginative
In Creed III, Damian harbors bitterness towards Adonis because he went to prison for 18 years after taking the blame for a fight that Adonis had started. Upon his release, Damian seeks to reclaim the fame and fortune that he lost, particularly because he believes he was always the superior fighter, being older and more skilled. However, the conflict between the two characters lacks depth, with Adonis aware that he should apologize but only do so after their fight.
Furthermore, Adonis’ training with Viktor Drago and subsequent victory over Damian, despite being physically broken from his career, feels too much like a fairy tale with surface-level stakes. While the action and performances are impressive, Creed III falls short in terms of nuanced storytelling, especially since Damian is not mentioned as a cause of Adonis’ previous anger in the earlier Creed movies.
Warrior Movie Showed Better Brotherly Battle
In contrast, the director Gavin O’Connor delivered a superior portrayal of sibling rivalry in Warrior, featuring Tom Hardy as Tommy and Joel Edgerton as Brendan in Philadelphia. Tommy left the military after saving his unit, but he suffered from trauma due to the loss of his friends. Though he was wanted for going missing, he secretly used his MMA skills in a tournament to earn money for one of the widows.
Brendan, Tommy’s brother, was a teacher who needed to win the same tournament to avoid debt and provide for his family. The significant plot twist came when Tommy recruited their abusive father, Paddy, to train him again. The stakes were high, not only because of the $5 million prize but because the story focused more on family dynamics rather than just belts and pride. Paddy was attempting to reconnect with his sons and show them that he had changed.
Tommy wanted to defeat Brendan because he felt abandoned while caring for their sick parents, and Brendan was fighting to overcome the traumas of his difficult childhood. These understandable motivations created a genuine rivalry, unlike the arbitrary conflict between Adonis and Dame, where Adonis refused to reach out to a hurt Dame in jail.
Warrior’s portrayal of the brotherly conflict had a more genuine emotional foundation, surpassing mere jealousy and ambition. This storyline effectively tackled mental health issues, leaving the audience conflicted about who to support in the end. Although Tommy lost due to his injuries, Brendan comforted him, and they reconciled with tears, revealing the devastating impact of Paddy’s actions on his sons.
This ending was more unexpected, realistic, and cathartic than Dame’s quick reconciliation with Adonis after losing. Overall, Warrior’s depiction was more thought-provoking compared to Creed III’s predictable storyline, where the “brothers” competed to outdo each other.
Creed III is now showing in theaters for audiences to compare the two rivalries.