J.R. Crawford’s review published on Letterboxd:
Boring, pandering bullshit and fuck ugly to boot.
Edit -- 29th May:
Adding more thoughts because I've had three separate conversations about Solo today. Soft spoilers ahead.
I'm sort of impressed by how contrived the whole thing is -- it almost, almost works as some meta-commentary on the unnecessary nature of origins/prequels, with its checklist approach to Han Solo character moments. Recalling the laundry list of 'previously hinted at' moments that actually occur in the 2 hour runtime is almost enough to convince me screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan is having a laugh. It's such a 'fuck it, they'll eat this shit up' approach, it's kind of amazing. I mean, I guess I never questioned the origins of Han's blaster and vest, when he met Chewie (and established his nickname), his first ride in the Falcon, meeting Lando, doing the Kessel Run, winning the Falcon, 'I Know' and shooting first... But I guess I assumed they all didn't take place in the same week during Han's first mission.
Kasdan is fucking with us, right?
Look, there are far bigger problems with the film than the above nitpicks (there's no momentum, performances are waaay off across the board, it's a tonal mess, and I still think it's under-lit and ugly as shit), but they are representative of the film's weak foundation, the fan-serving screenplay in this instance. I assume Lord & Miller would have realised that this bingo-card storytelling was fundamentally problematic, which maybe caused tension on set if they were flipping it as a springboard to criticise a prequel's existence. Or maybe I'm projecting, hopeful that those guys would know bad from good. Either way, we've ended up with Ron Howard treating the screenplay as a bible, and I'm Michael Bluth looking in the dead dove paper bag. Not to suggest there's a better version of a Han Solo origin movie, but without talents like Lord & Miller (experts at subverting expectations and making bad ideas good), maybe the movie would be more interesting if it avoided literally all of these moments? To leave the theatre, impressed they didn't pander? Impressed they tried harder?
As a friend has stated, maybe I was never going to enjoy this. Personally, I don't believe I expected to hate Solo, but it is exactly what I expected. And of course it doesn't ruin a childhood or even the character. It simply exists to be forgotten, with no lingering impact or influence. I simply don't care. Does anyone, really?
I liked L3. The Kessel Run is the new pod race. Donald Glover is fine. The cameo should have been Jar Jar. When can I see more Kylo?