For someone like me who never gave a damn about Star Wars nor ever understood its appeal in the film community, Rogue One was truly an unexpected surprise. An action-packed, delightfully dark & mostly entertaining blockbuster, I actually found it way better than the main episodes of the saga even though it had no valid reason to exist.
A space western of sorts filled with cartoonish creatures, Solo: A Star Wars Story brims with a kinetic vibe and yet nearly everything about it is so dull, predictable & uninteresting that it left me indifferent from start to finish. Despite featuring a good dose of action, there never really is anything at stake here as the filmmakers opt for a risk-free route.
Directed by Ron Howard (best known for A Beautiful Mind & Rush), the entire film is one bland segment stacked on top of another. The action is involving at times but only in bits n pieces. Characters are poorly sketched, interactions are more or less hollow, relationships are undercooked, and motivations are absurd or unconvincing or both.
There isn’t much wrong in the technical department, for the set pieces are finely carved & wonderfully detailed but that’s expected considering its high budget. Camerawork is energetic though that’s pretty much a given in a Ron Howard film. Its overlong runtime is severely felt plus there are scenes that linger on for longer than necessary. John Powell’s score isn’t all bad though.
On an overall scale, Solo is another disappointment in the latest pack of Star Wars films. Never bringing the emotions into play, failing to give viewers something to root for, and functioning entirely on nostalgia, everything about it is as superficial as it is formulaic. The loyal & die-hard fans of the franchise may find something salvageable in this messy blockbuster but for me, Solo is one of the most underwhelming films of the year.