Artpig (Brett)’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm a little late on seeing this one, kinda weird to miss a Star Wars movie on the opening weekend but my sisters wedding was a bit more important then that.
With that out of the way, I decided to tackle this film best is to do a Q&A! So, lets get the important questions out of the way!
Is it good?
Where does it rank in Star Wars filmography?
Better then the prequels, right below Rouge One.
Wait, you think Rouge One is better?
Yeah, this movie kinda made me wish I was watching Rouge One at times. Rouge One seems more calculated while this just seems like a fun adventure film, yet, this film is just tonally all over the place and very uneven. Rouge One is a much smarter and better written film, and the characters are more dynamic in it.
OOF, did you like any of the characters in this?
Oh yeah for sure! I love Han Solo and he is great in this movie. Alden Ehrenreich did an excellent job in this movie. He really incapsulated what Harrison Fords Han is all about. Chewbacca is wonderful here too, pretty much steals every scene he is in. Donald Glover as Lando is really terrific, he's just insanely talented.
So, all the characters you liked were already established?
Yeah, the new characters leave a lot to be desired. I honestly believe the reason the other characters even work is because we have other movies establishing who they are beyond this film in all honesty. I couldn't tell you the names of any of the new characters. Emilia Clarke was in it and she's like really cute but there's actually nothing to her character beyond that. With characters like Rey and Jen Erso that was kinda sad to see. Woody Harrelson is just getting type casted as the same roles at this point. The droid is fun but we've had much better, and we don't get enough time with the new droid to be fully invested in her character.
How's the writing?
Easily the weakest part of the film. The script is all over the place, and this is written by Kasdan so that kinda shocked me. There's some really clever nods to Star Wars lore throughout the film and some clever ideas but the storytelling feels a bit sloppy. The film never lets you catch a breath and yet never has true moments of resonance. In Last Jedi and Force Awakens, I had several moments where I had a huge dopey grin on my face and I got chills by how amazing something was. I only had one moment in this film that gave me genuine goosebumps. There is no final action epic masterpiece moment like in the end of Rouge One or The Last Jedi. Heck, the ending of the film felt kinda very matter of fact, it was kinda strange. A lot of the film resulted in storytelling that was, "we have to do this, in order to get this, so we can get here," and they do that about three times. A lot of access fat could be cut off this movie because the movie feels its length and during sequences like this it was easy to get disinterested in what was going on. The film just drags on a lot because the pacing is kinda terrible.
How was the dialogue?
Campy. But hey, Star Wars dialogue has always been campy, that's kinda the fun of them. I will say here however, some of the line deliveries and attempt of humor are groan worthy. Something about the timing felt really off. I love Ron Howard and think he did a pretty good job with the direction of this film but I really do with we could have had that Phil Lore Chris Miller wit and pace to this film. I believe this is a script and direction meant for different people then who ended up doing it, resulting in a film that feels incredibly messy.
Did you hate this movie, you sound really negative?
I really didn't hate this, give me this over Deadpool 2 any day. This is a really fun movie with a lot of really incredible worldbuilding and some fun looks at beloved characters we've known in love. It's a competent movie that is completely safe. This is a movie for everyone who didn't like The Last Jedi for taking actual risks. This is as safe as it gets and completely unnecessary but also a lot of fun. If you look at this as a campy space adventure serial, like Raiders of the Lost Arc in space, you'll have a solid time following this adventure and these characters. Just, don't expect more from this movie then what is on the surface, which is a passable studio movie that's meant to be fun enough and cool enough to make toys, and I'm honestly fine with that.
It made me wanna go back and watch all the Star Wars movies again though, so I guess it got the job done.