Solo: A Star Wars Story - (Movie Review)
--- 6.9/10 - Alright -
Okay, so I will admit my initial reaction was pretty negative first time around so with some time and thought, here is a more even handed review.
Let's start with the good, because the movie does have some good and even great elements. I loved the dark lighting in the initial scenes, though I've heard some theaters ran it even darker, due to dimming bulbs and shitty managers not keeping up with their projection system. Sticking with cinematography, I also enjoyed the last planets visual palette, a nice arrange of oranges and dust and sand that give it a cool western vibe.
The VFX looked fantastic, the first chase sequences looked stunning as they crashed through the city, and other moments of practicality really stood out. The CGI was also pretty good.
The cast in general did amazing in my eyes. Specifically Alden Ehrenich as Solo, I really grew to like his performance by the end of the film. Paul Bettany has a blast being the villain. Chewie is still good ole chewy. Woody Harrelson is awesome, but that might just be a given since its Harrelson. Even Donald Glover did good as Lando. The real standout in my eyes was L3-37, I know a-lot of people didn't dig her sense of humor but I enjoyed it. Emilia Clarke's performance I didn't like though, it was flat and generic to me.
And last positive things are, The costume/set/alien designs are still top notch and wonderful to look at.
Okay now the bad. The movie is generally uninspiring. I was pretty bored during the first hour. This film just had so much lost potential, and it all points to one central problem. The script. The story comes off so contrived, forced and just boring and overall pointless. The movie just spurted along never really gaining any traction, not only did I not care about any of the stakes or people or actions or consequences, but even the thing its speeding towards, "the ultimate heist" was lackluster in almost every way.
The script throws in nods and winks to essentially over explain almost everything. The "Hmmm, sooolooo" scene was cringe worthy. 'Han explaining in film why he calls Chewbacca chewie'? I mean am I alone in thinking that is just terrible writing? There's probably more I've forgotten already. In general, I'm confident in saying that the story of this film is just pointless, it added nothing.
Howard's direction wasn't anything terrible or anything beautiful, they were some scenes of nice composition, but I will give him flak for the terrible editing in this film, all the moments of humor are edited terribly, all the big set piece action moments are cut so slowly and awkwardly it makes me want to shudder thinking about it.
So in ending, As a heist film, it wasn't good. As a western, it was terrible. As a star wars film it was disappointing. As a summer sci-fi flick it was 'Decent'. It just felt like a manufactured product hitting bullets is the thing that really bothers me.