To anyone new to my site, you’re probably wondering where I stand on the Star Wars universe, as you’ll probably judge my critiques differently depending on whether I’m a blind Star Wars fanboy, or a rabid hater.
The truth is I’m in the middle.
I love the originals, though it’s admittedly from childhood nostalgia and not necessarily because I think they’re amazing movies.
I think the prequels are pretty awful, but I’m currently in love with how much of a cultural meme they are, and I can appreciate their existence.
The Force Awakens actually got me started on writing these reviews (link here if you want to see my first post ever, but you probably don’t). TL;DR: I thought it was competent enough and entertaining despite the fact that it is just a massive retreading of A New Hope.
I thought Rogue One was mediocre and forgettable.
I thought The Last Jedi was garbage.
Like I said, I’m currently in the middle. I don’t really belong to any specific camp.
Anyway, none of this really mentions how I actually feel about Solo.
I thought Solo was fine.
It’s a very entertaining, serviceable popcorn movie.
Alden Ehrencheich has his moments as Han, but there isn’t any sort of scene that brings him to absolute greatness.
Donald Glover has his moments as Lando, but there isn’t any sort of scene that brings him to absolute greatness.
Chewbacca is Chewbacca. That said, it was very refreshing to see him actually be useful in a movie, considering every film since Revenge of the Sith has mostly treated him as wall decoration.
As for the rest of them: Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Paul Bettany, and everyone else. I thought everyone was fine. Nobody irritated the crap out of me, but I will forget every single one of their characters after about a month (probably even less time than that). There isn’t really a single performance that carries the entire movie. There will be people that tell you that “Lando stole the show”, and like I said, Donald Glover has his moments as Lando, but there isn’t any sort of…
The movie has some competent humor, some neat ideas, and some small moments of tension, but there is no crescendo. Everything was very serviceable.
Like every single Star Wars movie before it, Solo mainly uses its soundtrack to reminisce on the original trilogy with some tweaks here and there. However, this film’s soundtrack occasionally tries to do something different. It was admirable even though none of it was all that memorable. As far as Star Wars soundtracks go, the only one that I can say it’s truly better than is Rogue One (but I think Rogue One is the worst Star Wars soundtrack).
There are a few complaints that I have, but none of them amount to much.
I thought some of the writing, especially during the beginning, kinda sucked. It does eventually get better, but don’t set your expectations on the first ten minutes of the movie because it’s probably the worst part.
There’s some fan service stuff that felt kind of lazy, but honestly this movie seems like it really tried to tone done the “pointless” fan service comparative to most of the other Disney Star Wars films. Most of the time, when there was something that could be considered “fan-service”, it felt like it ALSO served some sort of other purpose in the narrative. Not all of it, of course. But most of it was really good.
You might be wondering, “Does this movie bring any sort of context that would make me appreciate the original trilogy, and Han Solo as a character, more?”
The answer is no.
That said, film interpretation is very subjective, so you might get something out of it that I didn’t (but I highly doubt it).
So that’s about it. It’s an enjoyable movie. I enjoyed watching it. I thought the plot made sense and didn’t feel extremely contrived (which was nice for a change). I thought most of the movie was acceptable. There are a few moments during the movie where my eyes widened and thought, “Oh, I wonder what they’re going to do with this element of the story?” and every time I asked that, the answer was “something safe and acceptable”. That means that there are no moments of infuriation, but there’s also no chance for the movie to blow you away.