Director: Ron Howard
Writers: Jonathan Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke
Well… it was better than The Last Jedi.
Considering the backstage politics and troubles that LucasFilm had to maneuver to get this film into cinemas I’m actually impressed that it didn’t totally stink. With that being said I won’t be clamoring to see this movie a second time at the cinema and I won’t be hot on the heels of a blu-ray copy when it finally comes out.
Solo is certainly a better movie than The Last Jedi, and it feels more like “Star Wars” than any film has since the initial release of The Force Awakens. But with that being said there are still a vast number of issues with the film which kept me from enjoying it as much as I did Episode VII and Rogue One. Fortunately none of those issues were the cast of the film. Despite my worries I think Alden Ehrenreich did a great job as Han Solo, and although I think she’s good in Game of Thrones I’ve never really been impressed with Emilia Clarke outside of the show. So I was pleasantly surprised when she turned out to be one of the more likable characters in this movie.
It wasn’t all plain sailing on the character front though. The droid L3-37 portrayed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge was a strong character for my most disliked character in all of Star Wars. Rather than being endearing in her fight for equal-Droid-rights she instead came across as incredibly annoying and lacked any of the emotion of likability that K2-SO had in Rogue One.
The plot for the film is fine, which is a shame given the hype around what was referred to as “one of the best Star Wars scripts” prior to release. Given this was Kasdan’s swan-song I was really hoping for something more gripping. That doesn’t mean that the Galaxy has to be at stake, in fact it was nice for the focus of this movie to be much smaller and more personal. But it just lacked that un-tangible X-Factor which I was expecting from the Kasdan’s, and Star Wars in general. At times it very much felt like a McGuffin chase and that wasn’t enough to keep me interested.
The biggest issue I had with the movie however was the pacing. Never before have I checked my watch during a Star Wars film, but this one had me bored to tears during the middle third act. All my hopes for what the Spice Mines of Kessel could be like on the big screen were thoroughly let down by what equaled a very boring robbery.
One thing that does need highlighting as a positive however is the score. John Powell did a fantastic job and it’s definitely a good sign that the future of Star Wars music can succeed without John Williams at the helm anymore.
For what it’s worth I’m sure that this movie is far better than what would have been turned in if Ron Howard didn’t take the helm of a very troubled production. So kudos to Howard for taking on a very tough task of basically having to re-film the entire movie. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that most of my issues lie in the script itself and for that I have to criticise what I deem to be a pretty average movie with some isolated highlights.
Final Score: 6/10 Porgs