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Weak, poorly written, and unimaginative in the utmost. The spectacle of seeing all of the superheros you grew up watching is almost--but not quite--enough to make you forget the hole-ridden plot and complete lack of emotional depth. Mildly entertaining at its best, mind-numbingly bland at its worst. Even excellent performances from RDJ and Tom Holland cannot save this flop.
An unworthy capstone to an otherwise promising and, at times, truly impressive universe.
I loved Solo. I went in excited for Donald Glover, prepared to hate Alden Ehrenreich, and annoyed at the presence of both Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke. I've seen all of the other new Star Wars movies, including the prequels, and my feelings have ranged from mild approval to outright hatred. For once, however, I was not disappointed...in fact, I was totally blown away.
I loved the movie from start to finish, including young Han. Donald Glover, of course, was brilliant. Still not 100% sold on Emilia Clarke in a Star Wars film, but I like where her character arc is going. There was one stupid scene, but I think it was intended as a tip of the hat to a similar (but somehow less stupid) scene from the original trilogy. Other than that, I loved pretty much every moment of Solo.
Solo hits the perfect balance between humor, character development, adventure, and a little sadness. It still kills people off quickly and meaninglessly, but it didn't detract from the film the way it did in other recent Star Wars movies. The cast worked well together, the humor wasn't over-the-top or obnoxious (see Jar-Jar Binks and pretty much all of the humor in The Force Awakens (except you, BB-8-you are solid and I love you)) and much of the humor in Rogue One and The Last Jedi. I cared about the characters (unusual in a new Star Wars film), I totally bought the universe, and I wanted to see more, which is a feeling that no Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi has inspired.
Most importantly, Solo is the only Star Wars movie that captured the magic of the original trilogy. I don't mean the Force-that was basically absent from this film. What I mean is that there is this feeling of magic and wonder that the original films elicit-Solo managed to make me feel that, too. Maybe it's the way the characters meshed (I'd literally watch a thousand hours of Han, Chewie, Lando, and L3-37 bickering/shooting the shit). Maybe it's the perfect balance of adventure/humor/characters I give a shit about. Maybe it's something that can't be pinned down, but is more of a feeling you get when things are just right.
Or maybe it was the fact that, while giving many nods to the past (the Easter eggs on Dryden Vos's yacht were a fun add) Solo wasn't trying to be anything but itself. It wasn't Star Wars trying to be fancy and far-too-George-Lucasy (the prequels), Star Wars trying to be George R.R. Martin-meets-late-2000s-YA-drama (The Force Awakens), Star Wars meets Saving Private Ryan (Rogue One), or even The Last Jedi, which I see as Star Wars trying to out-Star Wars itself (and also pandering as hard as it could...while being massively over-commercialized and totally jumping the shark in SEVERAL places). It was just...Star Wars. It was fun. It was inspiring. It was goofy, at times. It had great characters and drama and the threat of the dark side...contrasted with an unlikely hero for the light.
Most of all, Solo has a feeling of hope that is totally lacking from all of the other Star Wars films. Perhaps this is a result of how cynical we, as a society, have become. Our entertainment has become more jaded to match our attitudes, and nowhere is this reflected more strongly than in the recent Star Wars films...except for Solo. Maybe it's that optimism that gives Solo its magic, or maybe it just adds to the overall charm of the film.
Whatever the case, Solo is, hands down, the best Star Wars film since the original trilogy. It accomplished the impossible: it made me love the franchise again, despite all of the other Star Wars films doing their best to beat that love out of me. Once or twice, in the beginning of the movie, I found myself thinking "THIS is what I've been waiting for; THIS is what a Star Wars film should be." I didn't think that later in the film only because I was too engrossed to have time to wonder at how much I was enjoying the experience.
Apart from the original trilogy, Solo is the only Star Wars film I plan to show to any future spawn I may have. THAT is how much I enjoyed it.
If you have any interest, go see Solo now. Don't pay attention to the other reviews, just go see it. Rarely have I enjoyed a movie so much in the theater, and definitely none of the other Star Wars films. I'll say it outright: Solo is what Star Wars should be.