The beginning of summer has been marked by the release of the latest installment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the last six years straight, with the franchise taking a break in 2009. While some of these films have certainly been better than others, it’s become something to look forward to as both a fan of comic books, a fan of film, and a general Marvel fan since childhood. This summer we’re marked by the release of Captain America: Civil War, which also happens to be the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Three series of films, leading up to the constantly teased fight against the Mad Titan Thanos, and capping off with The Avengers: Infinity War Part II in 2019. As the beginning of a new phase, Civil War shows us exactly what to expect from the future of the MCU… and does a damn good job with it at that.

The story for Captain America: Civil War is loosely based on the Civil War arc from the comic books, but it handles much of the same material in a more personal, affective way than the comic event did. Without going into too much detail, the United Nations has drafted the Sokovia Accords, the MCU’s version of the Superhuman Registration Act, to act as a governing body for the Avengers, and all other “enhanced humans” as they’re called to make sure that the Avengers don’t go around policing the world as they have been, which has lead to the collateral damage seen in New York from The Avengers, Washington D.C. as seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it’s even spurred on a little bit by an event that takes place right in the beginning of the film, when the intervention of the Avengers causes massive damage done in Lagos, killing many in the process. The Avengers are split on the accords, and thus split off into different factions, giving us the titular “civil war.” Along the way, however, we see an agenda being pushed into place by Zemo, one of the new characters who is loosely based on the iconic Captain America villain, Baron Zemo. Zemo is a Sokovian, and wanted to use not only the Winter Soldier, but deeply held secrets of the past to tear the Avengers apart from the inside as retribution for what happened in Sokovia. While Zemo’s plotline does feel a bit forced in and even rushed at times, he serves to give our heroes something to unite against despite all of the turmoil of the Sokovia Accords, and leads to one of the most personally driven battles we’ve seen in the MCU.

One of the major criticisms leading up to the film was how there just weren’t enough heroes in the MCU to constitute calling this a “war,” but the film is leaps and bounds more effective than the comic was, and a lot of this comes from just how few heroes we DO get. When they fight, not only do we get more time to focus on individuals throughout the fight, but we truly feel emotionally connected to the conflict; Steve and Tony have been working together for four years now, and watching them disagree to the point of physically fighting just spoke to me as an audience member. Without getting too into comparisons between the two films, I feel like Civil War is doing here what Zach Snyder was trying to do with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but does so in a much better way; this comes from the Russo brothers having four years of on-screen history together to back up this major conflict, not only meaning that it made more sense in the context of the film, but also that it’s more effective to the viewer as anyone whose made it this far into the MCU has likely been watching at least since The Avengers, just giving the film more gravitas than BvS had. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed certain aspects of BvS and I’m very curious to see where the DCEU goes, but I just feel from a filmmaking perspective, Civil War just did it better.

When it comes to fidelity of the characters to their source material, Civil War just goes ahead and knocks it out of the park. For a series that’s known for their accurate depictions of their characters, Civil War stands out amongst even all of that. The two standouts here come from our newcomers, Black Panther and Spider-Man. Both of these characters are incredibly accurate to their comic book counterparts, with this version of Spider-Man being by far the most accurate to the source version we’ve ever seen in film. While this comes as no surprise, it’s incredible to see just how easily he fits into the MCU mold, while keeping true to what a 15 year-old would be doing in a situation like this. Though his time is brief, his scenes are some of the most memorable, and he takes a major part in what I believe to be the best fight scene of not just the film, but in the franchise as a whole. Black Panther, on the other hand, has his time spread out through more of the film; the film serves as a quite personal, and incredibly engaging origin story for King T’challa, and ends up being memorable in his own right, giving everyone something to look forward to with his solo film coming out in 2018.

For our veteran characters, we all know how accurate they are to their comic book counterparts, but this film gave some much needed, much welcomed development of the characters; Sharon Carter finally gets some expanded characterization as one of Captain America’s closest allies, we see much more of what kind of “person” Vision is than we were able to in Age of Ultron, and we’re seeing how Wanda is coping to her new life as an Avenger (POTENTIAL SPOILER: We also get a hint at some of the feelings Wanda and Vision share for each other in the comics, a welcome addition in my opinion). On top of all this, we see first hand the struggle Bucky Barnes faces as the Winter Soldier, wanting to leave that life behind and just do the right thing, but continuing to be picked up and simply used as if he were a weapon, which he retains no memories from outside of “Winter Soldier mode,” and thus gives him his own conflict to deal with, which he does well in my opinion.

The best character development, however, comes from our headline matchup, Captain America and Iron Man. Iron Man has certainly come a long way in eight years, as the once unapologetic playboy tech mogul has morphed into a desperate, guilt-ridden shell of who he once used to be; Iron Man has clearly been affected the most by the actions of the franchise, and is tired of being responsible for so much chaos and destruction. Because of this, he favors the Sokovia Accords. He realizes they’re too dangerous to the world without this supervision, and despite all the times they’ve saved the world, they simply haven’t cared about the cost up to this point. So while Iron Man seems to be on the “bad side” of the conflict, the film portrays him to do so out of what he feels is necessary. Tony has certainly grown up a lot in eight years, and the film does a fantastic job showing us not just that he has, but why he has.

Captain America, on the other hand, has completed his transition from “America’s best boy” that was started in Winter Soldier. Thanks to the accords and his unwavering loyalty to do what he feels is the right thing, he becomes a full on fugitive from the law yet again by refusing to sign the accords, and harboring Bucky from the government who wants him to answer for a crime he was framed for. Steve shows once again that he does what he thinks is right no matter what the situation is, and no matter who he’s up against, which has become par for the course for Captain America. He hasn’t changed much since his last film unlike Tony, but in a way, that’s the point of their characters. Tony, much like the technology he built his fame around, is constantly changing, and always adapting to what he thinks is right for the given situation, where Steve stands firm in his ideals, unwilling to compromise if it means even one person might lose their liberty over it. Much as the Captain America of the comics told Spider-Man in the Civil War event, and much like Sharon Carter tells Steve in this film, he plants himself like a tree when the whole world says “move.” And all he has to say to that is “No, you move.”

When it comes down to it, this might just be the best MCU film to date in my opinion. The way the film handles the material, both content wise and how personal they were able to make it, the way the film handles both veteran and newcomer characters, and the way it just loves and respects the comics the series came from, Civil War is sure to be a delight, not just for fans of Marvel comics, but for fans of the MCU and even film fans in general. I’m giving Captain America: Civil War 5/5 stars, and I urge anyone who hasn’t yet to please go check it out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, as it isn’t just a good superhero movie… it’s a damn good film.



In the early summer of 2009, director Gavin Wood brought the latest installment in the X-Men film franchise to the world, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. As part of the film involved a look at Weapon X and Wolverine’s infamous run in with them, it’s no surprise that Weapon X’s second most famous patient Wade Wilson, played by Ryan Reynolds, made an appearance. Wade Wilson is where that specific appearance ended, though. While the character went on to become a “Dead pool of superpowers” from Weapon X, this is where the similarities to the comic book character ended.  The character went from being a mouthy merc with deadly skills to match, to a serious and deadly killing machine with his mouth sewn shut. Deadpool fans worldwide were rightfully disappointed by this portrayal of their favorite Marvel character, and it would be the only silver-screen portrayal we’d get for seven long years.

Despite the backlash to the character, Reynolds didn’t give up. From the moment Origins was released, he continued to work on a solo Deadpool project out of his love for the character, and after eleven total years of work, stress, internet leaks, and a massively successful ad campaign, we finally have a proper Deadpool film that delivers the experience fans have been waiting for.

The basic plotline for Deadpool is as follows: After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, mercenary Wade Wilson agrees to undergo an experimental procedure to give him a superhuman healing factor in an attempt to cure the cancer, so that he may live a long, normal life with his new fiancé, Vanessa. After the treatment disfigures him and the surgeon who experimented on him, Ajax (or Francis, as Deadpool lovingly reminds us is his real name), tries to kill him unaware of how advanced his healing factor is. Once he rises from the ashes of his grave, he sets off on his quest to hunt down Ajax and cure his disfigurement, so that he can feel worthy enough to be with Vanessa once again. Along the way he’s helped by the X-Men Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (the coolest name EVER), teaching him a bit about teamwork along the way.

Right off the bat, this film goes for the laughs, opening with one of the funniest and original credit sequences I’ve ever seen, which serves not only to grab a laugh or two from the audience, but also to foreshadow the epic freeway battle that unfolds mere minutes later. From the moment Deadpool is first on screen, you can tell it’s a completely different character from the X-Men Origins abomination from 2009. He’s funny, yet lethal. Intelligent, yet a smartass. Cares about nothing but accomplishing his own goals, yet has a soft spot that very few get to witness. In short, this is the Deadpool fans have been waiting for.

As a comedy, the film holds nothing back. Deadpool is known for breaking the fourth wall in his various forms of media, and this film plays with that creatively, yet tastefully; None of the fourth wall gags seemed forced or took away from the story, which was a fine line that the film needed to walk with this type of humor. Outside of fourth wall humor, the film did a tremendous job. From an increasingly ridiculous sex montage between Vanessa and Wade, to a barrage of insults about Wade’s disfigurement from his friend Weasel, to even just every single fight scene, this is a film that knows what the fans want; over the top action juxtaposed with witty, dark humor along the way. And from that standpoint, this film succeeds immensely.

It doesn’t just go for all laughs however; one of the lesser known aspects about Deadpool’s character is the dark past associated with the character, a past which is touched upon in the form of flashbacks throughout the first act of the film. The disfigurement from his experimentation goes far beyond the physical deformities. It affected his mind, making him unstable and prone to violent outrages, as well as clinically insane. His once sarcastic form of humor turned sadistic, and was used as a coping mechanism for the scars and traumas he experienced daily; This was touched on very well in the film, and I’m incredibly glad it was. It made the character that much more empathetic, as well as making fans happy that it isn’t just the wacky and random Deadpool so common on the internet, or “Memepool” as he’s been dubbed by some.

Contrary to what some fans may have you think, Deadpool wasn’t the ONLY character to be featured in the film. He was certainly the driving force as well as the most interesting character, but just about every character is done well here. Ed Skrein’s portrayal of Ajax did seem a bit one dimensional at times, but the way he and Reynolds worked together on screen made up for that in my mind. Morena Baccarin, as Deadpool’s lover Vanessa, was just as insane and messed up as Reynolds’ Deadpool, leading to one of the most adorably disturbing on screen romances in recent memory. Colossus and Warhead added needed morality to the film, and also served to make the world simply feel bigger by adding in the idea of the X-Men being present.

In my mind, however, T.J. Miller and Leslie Uggams absolutely killed it as Deadpool’s friends and sidekicks, Weasel and Blind Al. Miller and Reynolds have excellent chemistry on set no matter what scene they’re in, and Uggams stands out in her own way by bringing life to this often-overlooked stable of Deadpool’s past. Both characters have been all but forgotten in recent comic book iterations, and it’s my hope that these fantastic performances will only bring more credit to the characters, and maybe even bring them back to the limelight in comic form.

Despite how much I clearly loved this movie, the film does have some flaws as all films do. As I mentioned Ajax as a villain seems very one-dimensional and without purpose whenever he’s on screen alone. This is a minor gripe, but it did leave me wanting for a bit more out of Skrein for the character. Additionally, a lot of the jokes did serve to be mostly fan-service and a clear “wink-and-nod” for the fans to understand that this is the film they’ve wanted. While I personally enjoyed this as a Deadpool fan, it doesn’t leave much room for outside audiences, and those who aren’t big fans of Deadpool may feel like they’re missing the joke during these scenes. Despite these flaws, however, I don’t feel that they detract from the overall experience that the film is able to give.

My final thoughts from Deadpool involve its status as a superhero film. Specifically, how it’s changed the game. In a cinematic world ran by Marvel Studio’s MCU, it can be hard for a new superhero property to break the mold and get noticed. Deadpool did just that, and on a smaller budget than most films of its genre in recent history. Not only has the film proven how viable non-franchised heroes can be in this world of cinematic universes, but it’s broken the traditional formula behind superhero films as a whole by giving us something new, and someone who plays by his own rules.

Overall, I’m giving Deadpool 5/5 stars. It’s the film the fans have wanted, that for the most part leaves itself open for anyone whose interested to take a look and enjoy. Even if you’re not a fan of the usual superhero story, I’d say check it out. If the heart-wrenching ballad of Wade Wilson doesn’t get to you, the over the top action and theater rumbling comedy just might.


For fans of Marvel’s best mercenary, the traditional twelve days of Christmas has been turned into what the Fox Studios marketing department is calling “the 12 Days of Deadpool,” a twelve-day event of online Deadpool goodies such as posters, IMAX trailers, and magazine covers, all leading up to this Christmas day event, the release of a second trailer for the film of this lovable cancer patient, Deadpool. In honor of the holiday event coming to a close, and because I’m such a big Deadpool fan, I’ve watched the trailer more times than one person feasibly should in one sitting, to give an in depth analysis about what this trailer is saying about the film. Warning, potential spoilers for both Deadpool the movie and Deadpool comics ahead.

The trailer starts off with Deadpool in the backseat of a cab, as he wiggles his way to the front to converse with the cabbie. Here we get our first hint at the merc with the mouth’s humor. When the cabbie questions Deadpool on his choice of a red suit, he breaks the fourth wall ever so slightly to inform us that it’s Christmas, and he’s got someone on his “naughty list” to take care of.  We then cut to Deadpool slicing down baddies, finishing off as he he shish kebab’s one with his katanas. He makes a quip about this being a different kind of superhero film, and cut to a flashback of his terminal cancer diagnosis as Wade Wilson, before he donned the red.

From here, I can already tell that the film is taking heavily from the character’s comic book origin, where he goes to the Weapon X program in a desperate attempt to cure his cancer. Here he undergoes horrific genetic experimentation to give him an accelerated healing factor, making him able to heal from anything. The Weapon X representative who sells this idea to Wade is thought to be a young Dr. Killebrew, the doctor who performed these experiments on him, but I don’t think that to be the case. Present throughout the trailer, however, is Deadpool’s nemesis and Killebrew’s assistant, Ajax. Ajax seems to be spearheading Wade’s surgery. Before now it wasn’t 100% clear what Ajax’s role in the film would be, but after this trailer it seems like that’s been established. (WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD)

The story, from what I can gather between the two trailers, is that Ajax has kidnapped Wade’s wife Vanessa after Wade’s survival of the Weapon X facility being destroyed. Now, Deadpool has to rescue her from Ajax and his cronies. Along the way he’ll receive help from his buddy Weasel, Deadpool’s arms dealer from the comics, and the two X-Men Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. If this is true, the story seems like it’ll be very basic by superhero standards, but it’ll work. Given how complicated other superhero flicks have gotten in their stories, it might even be a breath of fresh air to have one that’s simple by comparison.

Moving on to what we know about the characters, there’s not much to be said about the supporting cast. Ajax looks intimidating, Weasel looks like he’ll be the sarcastic friend he’s always been, Colossus looks like he’s the silent strong type, and NTW looks like she’ll be filling the role of the angst-filled sidekick who doesn’t take orders well, and wants to work on her own terms. The one character we do see plenty of to give us an idea of what we’ll be seeing in February, is Deadpool himself.

Ryan Reynolds, not only in both trailers but in other media promoting the film, is doing a phenomenal job portraying the character. Both with the mask on, and as Wade Wilson prior to his life changing event, Reynolds is filling the character with the sarcastic, witty humor he’s known for. As far as the fourth wall breaking that Deadpool is known for, this has been kept to a minimum in the trailers, only appearing in two places, with only one of them being him actually talking to the audience. I appreciate this, as two hours of Deadpool doing nothing but breaking the fourth wall would get old quick, and lose its humor even quicker. Luckily both the writers and director Tim Miller seem to understand this, and have used this form of humor as little as possible.

One major concern I’ve been noticing online is that the film isn’t going to be funny, like it’s going for. Some online fans are afraid that the trailers have shown all of the good jokes, and the rest of the film will be mediocre and unfunny. While this is a legitimate concern especially with comedies, I don’t feel that this will be the case. One major thing that’s being forgotten is that this isn’t being released as a straight comedy film. The official billing for the film is Action/Adventure, with elements of sci-fi and comedy thrown in. So while the comedy of Deadpool himself is being advertised as a major selling point, it won’t be the sole focus of the film. True Deadpool is the main character, but there’s much more to this film than just one character, and while he’ll be the major player, the film isn’t 100% reliant on him being constantly funny. Deadpool as a character is a mix of humor, action, and the often-ignored depth that the character hides with that humor he’s so popular for. If Reynolds can pull off this mix like he seems to be doing in the trailers and marketing, I have no doubt that the film will do well for fans of the character.

In addition, between the two trailers, we’ve seen a total of seven scenes from the film, with both trailers focusing on one scene in particular, a freeway battle between Deadpool and what appears to be some hired goons he’s been contracted to take out. I believe this to be a deliberate choice on the filmmaker’s part, choosing to focus on using those scenes to advertise the character and get people to want to see the rest of the film, and leaving the rest to be a surprise. This is an incredibly smart move on their part, making the choice to spoil only one area of the film (which, I might add, is a direct reenactment of the CGI test footage leaked to spark interest in the film in the first place) to leave the rest in tact for the fans to enjoy and consume on February 12th.

Now, it comes time for me to predict my rating of the film. This is a difficult task, but I believe it’ll be a 5/5 for Deadpool fans such as myself, and a 3.5/5 for just the general filmgoer. The trailer has me hopeful for the film, and I believe it’ll be an incredibly accurate version of the character, getting the core of the character right rather than just the “meme Deadpool” that the internet knows and loves. It’ll have enough to keep the general film going public entertained if only for the two hours it’ll run on screen, and may even help break up some of the “superhero formula” that plagues the genre by being so radically different from what we’ve seen, as Deadpool promises in the trailer. For fans of the character, it’ll be the film they’ve been looking for to represent their favorite character. And at the very least, it’ll be a more accurate portrayal than we saw in X-Men Origins: Wolverine



To call me a Star Wars fan would be a gross understatement. Like most children growing up in the late ‘90s/early 2000s, I was absolutely engrossed in the world of Jedi, Sith lords, and the Force. Having been 6 years old when the prequel trilogy started with The Phantom Menace, I was exposed to the original trilogy of episodes IV-VI by my caring mother in between episodes I and II. While I loved the prequel trilogy as a child, growing older I like many others grew to resent the overly childish, poorly written trilogy of Anakin Skywalker, and preferred the much better executed, more mature original trilogy. Having lived to face the disappointment of mediocre Star Wars films, I’ve been excited but wary since hearing that Disney obtained the rights to the series and planned to set a course on yet another trilogy. Today, having finally seen The Force Awakens, I can safely say that fans can rejoice. Star Wars is great again.

Sitting in the theatre as the opening title crawl scrolled, giving us a summary of the 30 years of backstory that took place between episodes VI and VII, I immediately felt the chills go down my spine, and an ear-to-ear smile break out on my face. The John Williams composition, the familiar scroll superimposed over the vast openness of space, all preceded by those words, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…” This was the Star Wars that I remembered. And this feeling of childlike glee is what would set the tone for the remainder of the film.

The film is chock full of nostalgic goodness, that will make any long time fan of the franchise scream with joy. From the familiar characters popping up, to references of the original trilogy, and even the familiar beats of the story that are reminiscent of Episode IV, A New Hope, this film is a much needed reminder of just how fun a Star Wars film can be when not bogged down by talk of ancient prophecy’s and trade negotiations. This doesn’t make the film inaccessible, however. The story is well fleshed out to stand on its own without needing to know all of the background information from the previous films of the series. Something important, as this film is likely some of the first exposure an entirely new generation of fans will be receiving to the franchise. Moving along from just how nostalgic this film made me, however, let’s take a look at the film on a technical level.

Without getting into spoilers, the film is distinctly a Star Wars film. As mentioned earlier, the film takes some major inspiration from the original trilogy, right down to the beats of the film being very reminiscent of Episode IV. Despite this, director J.J. Abrams adds his own style to the film, helping it stand out as a more “modern” Star Wars film despite the inspiration from the originals. The characters are all solid, and not just the established heroes from the Galactic Civil War. While it’s fun to see Han and Leia back together again, Chewy sitting co-pilot in the Millennium Falcon, and C-3P0 back to his helpful if not slightly overbearing ways, the new cast of characters do their best to establish themselves, and they do it well. Finn and Poe are great both in their scenes together and apart, and Captain Phasma is incredible during her short time on screen. Adam Driver gives us an excellent antagonist in Kylo Ren, a surprisingly complex antagonist who gives us more than your standard Star Wars villain is used to. I’d go as far to say as he was my second favorite character in the film, keeping me most interested in his character, second only to the leading lady herself.

I personally believe Daisy Ridley steals the show in her portrayal of Rey, providing an excellent female lead who manages to avoid most tropes that typically befall the women in these films. She’s strong and independent, not relying on her male counterparts to come to the rescue. She’s an interesting and compelling character, who leaves just enough of her back story unknown to keep fans speculating and talking until Episode VIII is released in 2017. Among this talented cast of both familiar and new faces, I think it’s safe to say that Ridley will be the “new face” of the next generation of Star Wars.

While I’ve been singing the praises of this film, it does have some flaws as most films do. The dialogue, while good for the most part, is still very clunky in some parts, and makes a point to tell us many things that could be simply shown on screen. That being said, it’s still far better than the dialogue that George Lucas gave us in Episodes I-III. In addition, the story while good did seem a bit forced and scattered in parts. Finally, as much as I like the nostalgic feel that the film exudes, this is the beginning of a new trilogy, so while I feel this strategy worked for one film, the next two films are going to need to work hard to give us something different and interesting to keep the fans interested and giving it the positive feedback that Episode VII got.  While these are flaws in the film, they weren’t enough to ruin my experience, and won’t ruin the experience for a die hard fan.

In all, J.J. Abrams has brought life back to the franchise. The film is much more than a sequel. It’s an invitation to a new generation, to experience Star Wars the same way generations before them did. Both as this invitation and as a continuation of the established story, the film succeeds. I’m giving The Force Awakens a perfect 5/5. The characters, story, and references to the previous films are enough to keep the most diehard fans entertained, and interesting enough to introduce a new generation of Jedi to the Force.


“Your Legacy is More Than a Name.” That’s the tagline for Ryan Coogler’s spinoff of the Rocky series, Creed. And that theme, the theme of your legacy, is apparent throughout the film. It’s been 9 years since the Italian Stallion’s last appearance on the big screen, but that hasn’t slowed him down, as even behind new director Coogler, I feel that this may be one of the strongest entries in the Rocky series to date.

The story to Creed is simple enough; a young man named Adonis “Hollywood Donny” Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, makes his way to Philly to seek out Rocky Balboa in order to begin the training necessary to learn how to be a champion boxer. Throughout the film, Donny and Rocky hone his skills as a boxer while he tries to figure out his place in the world. Along the way he finds out just what it means to be a family, and learns to accept his father’s name without diminishing his own legacy.

As can be expected from a Rocky film, the characters are compelling and very well written. Coogler’s excellent writing mixed with the talented performance of every actor involved, especially from Stallone and Jordan. These two put everything they have into their performances, and it shows on the screen. Stallone truly encapsulates Rocky’s older, weathered attitude throughout the film. He’s significantly older than the last time we saw him in the ring in Rocky Balboa, and he’s completely retired once again. In exact contrast, Jordan’s youthful energy and attitude gives him the motivation he needs to be the best boxer he can be. The way these two work with each other, and the way their attitudes both mix and clash throughout the film is entirely realistic, and you really feel for both characters. Really everyone on screen puts out a decent performance, but Stallone and Jordan really make this film their own. Fitting, as they’re the star characters.

The concept of your legacy is the major theme throughout the film. Donny wants to make a name for himself as a boxer without having to use the crutch of his father’s name to gain the notoriety he wants. Meanwhile, Rocky shows slight signs of his legacy going to waste through his retirement. Before Donny shows up, Rocky doesn’t have much of anything to do as he’s tried to keep himself away from the boxing scene. Once he’s face to face with Creed’s son, though, he takes up the mantle as Donny’s trainer and passes on everything he knows to him. The two become a family, and Donny is set on the track to become one of the greatest boxers around.

The characters aren’t the only ones dealing with the concept of a legacy, though. That concept translates to the actual film itself. Stallone didn’t write or direct this film like he did with previous entries in the series. Passing on the mantle of writer/director to Ryan Coogler is Stallone’s legacy of the series. Taking a back seat both as a character and as a director shows that Stallone is ready to let Rocky’s world move on. And part of that moving on is helping usher in a new generation – Both for the characters, and for the filmmakers.

Overall, Creed was a fantastic callback to the Rocky series that still stands on its own as a fantastic film with a worthwhile message. The compelling characters and simplistic yet heart filled story keeps you entertained for the duration of the film, and the message is a relatable one that sticks with you. I’m giving Creed a 5/5, and recommend everyone go see this phenomenal piece of filmmaking.