I did not expect much from this film. Although I loved Rogue One and have liked both the instalments in the latest Star Wars trilogy, from watching the trailer and reading reviews in anticipation of watching Solo, something just didn’t seem right. However, I went in with an open mind (wanting to like the film but unsure that I would.)
What is it about?
Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) attempts an escape from his “home-planet” with his girlfriend Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke;) however, things quickly go wrong as: Qi’ra becomes apprehended, while he makes it away (swearing he will come back.) Years later, Solo gets his chance of a mission, which will earn him enough money to buy a ship and finally allow for his rescue of Qi’ra. With the help of: Becket (Woody Harrelson;) Val (Thandie Newton;) a particularly reluctant Lando Calrissisan (Donald Glover) and a 196-year Wookie called Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo,) Solo makes his way across the galaxy on deadly mission to steal highly volatile and valuable, unrefined coaxium.
What did I think?
This film had a certain style about it that I quite enjoyed. It seemed to bumble happily between plot points, with a mix of: pointless direction, as well as a focused intent that generally maintained my focus. I thought that the action sequences, most notably a key sequence at the climax of the film, were well executed and captivated my attention while they played out. My favourite characters were: Rio Durant (John Favreau) and Val (Thandie Newton;) unfortunately, their screen time was woefully short for my liking. I felt more could have been done to prolong and delve into their story as they seemed very interesting on the outlook from the brief story we got from them. Finally, I thought what was on screen looked particularly pleasant and grand, with a genuine sense of scale about it.
Onto the bad bits. I thought this film was quite predictable at times and for large parts complied with the general tropes of the romance genre, within the setting of a Star Wars film. Of course it had some surprises along the way, but it would be more surprising if their wasn’t any. I never really cared about any of the characters, other than maybe Chewbacca, for sustained periods of time which meant that, although what was on screen was appealing on the surface, it felt quite hollow behind the façade. Moreover, although it generally maintained my attention, it did nothing more than pass the time without resolving to influence me, for sustained periods, in any way. I was interested to see where it would eventually go, but, 2 hours and 15 minutes was just too long to get there. Although this didn’t really bother me at the time, the more I think about it the more I believe it to be true.
In summary, it passed the time and solidified my initial expectations that it would just exist as a film, without provoking much of a reaction from me: positive or negative. I thought it was enjoyable while it was on but certainly hasn’t stuck with me since.
My Rating: 6/10
And there we have it, the end to a run of five films with a rating of 9 or above from me. Also, if you enjoyed this review please like and follow and check out my instagram @judesfilmreviews.