Ian Hobbs’s review published on Letterboxd:
"I'm gonna be a pilot. Best in the galaxy."
Despite the fact that I was not really looking forward to seeing this at all, and I really didn't see a need for a film like this to come out, Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story really surprised me. I think going in with such low expectations and I guess just getting used to the fact that we'll get these films no matter what, really changed how the final outcome of the movie was for me and really let me enjoy seeing a new Star Wars film in theaters.
Since I didn't grow up with Star Wars and I was really only introduced into this wonderful universe three years ago, a lot of the nostalgia-filled moments that were splashed throughout the film didn't really work for me. My friend had said seeing the first meeting of Han & Chewbacca was pretty special to him, yet I really didn't feel a lot for it. Despite that though, I did really love all of the moments and nods at the other films throughout and it really made me happy to be a fan of Star Wars.
The main problem that Solo faces as a film is just how weak the script is. I remember after the first 20 minutes had past, I was so worried for the rest of the movie because it had some of the worst dialogue and tone in a movie that I've ever seen. Thankfully, the script got better and the dialogue wasn't as bad, but it still wasn't what I hoped it was. The other problem I had was just how boring it was. There were fun scenes throughout, but the majority of the movie was boring.
I think we can all agree that Phil Lord & Christopher Miller's version of Solo would've been such a fantastic space movie and would really be better version; however, Ron Howard I feel does the film justice. One thing I can say is that his action shots and space battles were so much fun. The train sequence and Kessle Run were both highlights of the film, and the combination of action and wonderful cinematography makes them great moments in the Star Wars canon.
The performances here are also some of the best parts of a somewhat lackluster movie. Alden Ehrenreich was so wonderful. I loved every moment he had, and he embodied the character of a young Han perfectly, or at least to me he did. Woody Harrelson was definitely underrated here and I loved his arc. Emilia Clarke however, she was not good. I couldn't stand anytime she was on screen and her and Ehrenreich didn't have any chemistry whatsoever. But, Donald Glover as Lando was the best. He stole every scene he was in, despite being in very few, and I would *love* to see his own film.
While there are tons of problems I have with the movie, and I definitely would've preferred the original version from Lord & Miller, I think going in with not the highest of hopes really lead me to like and enjoy Solo more than I hoped. The fanatical action scenes, a surprisingly great score, and wonderful performances really help boost the movie to being a little more than average. Maybe it'll go up a rating on a rewatch, but for now, Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story is an above-average space-adventure movie that I enjoyed quite a bit.