HOLLYWOOD—I have seen “Creed” and its sequel “Creed II” which I thought were great films. So you could imagine the buzz I had for this third installment in the franchise. “Creed III” is not the best entry in the franchise it is actually one of the worst. This is not a terrible movie, but it fails to deliver a narrative that works for the viewer. Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) has retired from boxing, but finds himself pulled back into the ring by an old pal and new foe, Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors).

Damian or Dam as he is called by pals has a bit of history with Adonis, who grew up together and dealt with some major struggles. The problem with that friendship and brotherly bond is that it is not fleshed out as well in the story. The audience gets small teases, and some of the pieces are meaty, but it is not fully fleshed out in its entirety that raises the stakes for the viewer.

Jordan is still solid in the role, and Majors, this guy is an absolute star that is just having a breakout year after a dramatic performance in “Devotion,” appearing as a threatening villain in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and now as a boxing rival in “Creed III.” Majors is such a versatile actor; he has a charm and charisma that absolutely shines on the big screen and draws the spectator in. You care about the character, even though you know he’s a villain. There is an investment, and I wanted to know more about Dam’s past, which is hinted, but not fully given which impacts the big climax.

Jordan who tackles directing duties this time around does a decent job behind the camera, but some of the techniques used with the camera are lackluster. The big fight felt tame compared to what was seen in “Creed” and “Creed II.” The flashbacks create a bit of a distraction to the narrative as we receive them in small hints. It would have been more potent if we received a larger portion of Dam and Adonis’ history in one slice with little bits to add on to the tension. That doesn’t happen here.

Tessa Thompson is stellar in the role of Bianca and the addition of their hearing impaired daughter Amara (Mila Davis-Kent). It was so great to see the filmmakers utilize an actual deaf actress in the role playing a deaf character and Davis-Kent shines in the role. There are also solid performances by Phylicia Rashad and Wood Harris, but that subplot involving Mary Anne (Rashad) seemed pointless to the narrative.

There is so much buildup to this big fight between Dam and Adonis that when it finally arrives, it feels like an afterthought. It is over sooner than I wanted it to be, explicitly saying I wanted more America. This fight should have been epic and there is no heightened tension. As a viewer you already know the result before actually seeing the result which is a massive disappointment as a fan of the franchise. “Creed III” had the potential to deliver a knockout punch, but it ultimately delivers a whimper for fans.