Adam’s review published on Letterboxd:
An entertaining origin story set in the Star Universe dominated by a pitch perfect Lando Calrissian performance from Donald Glover, and strong performances all around.
The script is a little all over the place (particularly when it has occasionally awful dialogue "how do I make this right?" *barfs*) and has a few too many set pieces and too much planet skipping resulting in each sequence having little conflict or stakes, there's no tension in any of their set piece sequences so the entire film is more of a dance than a thrill ride. Which is fine.
The film gets incredibly interesting when Enfy's Nest catches up a second time to the smugglers on Savareen in the final thirty minutes and it immediately takes a resonant thematic unexpected turn into a much more interesting place (that also ties it in beautifully with Rogue One and A New Hope), and It's a fucking shame that this story beat doesn't come at the end of act one, after they first encounter Enfy's Nest, because then the film could be working with a whole lot more dramatic stakes in encountering Crimson Dawn, The Kessel Run and on Savareen, If the Enfy's stuff is revealed earlier, you set up conflicts with Bennett and the Enfy's group responsible for the deaths of his beloved friends, Han torn between Enfys and smuggling and Qi'ra playing a more intricate game of will or won't in terms of what her goals in playing various sides at various times are. Such a shame that structurally the film just never realized the potential upsides inherent in its characters.
I actually really enjoyed it overall, if it had a concept as tight as Rogue One the entire thing could have been really tremendous. and am probably more interested in sequels that follow up this story than I am in this story in and of itself. It's a shame that the film "flopped" relative to Star Wars Standards and it's budget and has killed off this sort of really fun adventure story sidelines. I grew up reading the innummerable star wars books of the 1990s and this film utterly captures the wonderful charm of the best of those works--and it even has a shout out to one of my favorite planets from those works, Dathomir!