By Dave B.
Just to get this out of the way, I like Star Wars. As a franchise, it’s generally very entertaining (ignoring the obvious exceptions, of course). Solo: A Star Wars Story is short on plot and long on thrills. That’s great for a summer blockbuster, but Solo isn’t among the pantheon of great Star Wars movies because it’s even more thoroughly sanitized than most Star Wars movies have been since Disney acquired the franchise.
Writing a review for a movie like Solo is difficult because I didn’t dislike it! The acting ranged from decent to very good. Donald Glover was perfectly cast as Lando Calrissian and Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke were more than solid as Beckett and Qi’ra, respectively. There is plenty of action and there are some nifty flight scenes. But I wish Solo had taken a page from Rogue One’s book and done more to push the envelope of Disney’s overly sanitized brand.
There’s nothing wrong with Solo. There’s nothing objectionable, marginally offensive, or unique about it. At all. There are few surprises. There is nothing to consider. It’s eye-candy of the highest caliber. And for me, it doesn’t hold a candle to Rogue One, which had an emotional depth and galactic consequences that are wholly missing from Solo. I’m not expecting Solo to be a war movie like Rogue One was. It’s a heist movie and I respect that. But if it wasn’t a Star Wars movie, it would probably be one of the most mediocre heist movies I’ve ever seen.
At no point during the Solo was I bored, but at the same time, there aren’t really any iconic moments in the film either. It basically felt like what it probably is: the first installment in a trilogy that will have a couple of memorable moments, a few thoroughly forgettable ones, will make a ton of money, but would largely be forgotten if not for its connection to the world’s most well-known franchise. In the final analysis, so long as any Star Wars movie isn’t irredeemably terrible, it’s probably worth watching for the special effects and being a part of the social phenomena that surrounds these films. Solo: A Star Wars Movie is no exception to that rule and I recommend it. 6.5/10