Stallone has always put a lot of heart into the Rocky series, and it's no surprise to see he co-wrote this screenplay. Family issues, particular those of the father-son variety, are explored in a satisfying way.
The pacing and formula are classic Rocky, which is predictable but good. The one deviation is the weight given to the challenger's story. You get to know, understand, and feel for the Dragos.
It's rare to see a movie where you actually care about ALL of the characters, heroes and villains alike. The writing and story help this, but much credit has to go to the performances, which are top notch. I'll single out Michael B. Jordan because he carries the heaviest load and does it to perfection.
Many movies labeled as comedies have only a few actual laughs surrounded by an amusing story. This movie, on the other hand, has laugh-out-loud gags constantly for its entire length. This is THE benchmark movie for comedy. Will another movie ever have a gags/minute ratio at the level of this movie? Unlikely. Other movies may have bigger or more sophisticated laughs, but no other movie has MORE gags.
Visually stunning. Absolutely incredible visuals. The movie is a feast for the eyes.
This is a start-to-finish fun and exciting ride that ends the Skywalker Saga in spectacular fashion.
For my fellow Generation Xers out there, this is a perfect, touching conclusion to the story we marveled at as kids.
A complete mess. Movies are supposed to be consistent with their established universes, and this movie is not. Key plot points and the style of this movie do not work within the Star Wars universe. Illogically changing an established character (Luke) did not work. Dropping the loose ends from the first part of the trilogy and leaving nothing for the third part were bold decisions that, again, did not work.
This movie has no redeeming value as part of the Skywalker saga and minimal value as a standalone film.