Alex Sheldon’s review published on Letterboxd:
As someone who doesn't much care for the Star Wars franchise, apart for the childhood nostalgic vibe of the original 3 instalments, I sat down to watch what I regard as just another sci-fi fantasy romp; a film I can enjoy without nit-picking on why it should even exist in the first place.
Following the news-feeds prior to its release and early reviews thereafter, my expectations were understandably low.
But, shock horror, it wasn't half bad.
I never expect stellar acting performances from Star Wars movies with generic dialogue, so no surprises here.
Alden Ehrenreich was pretty okay - just maybe a bit too sweet and nice. But he grew on me.
Emilia Clarke just comes across as a theater performer to me, no matter what she's playing. She's either too serious or happily playing along with whatever's happening, but never quite letting loose. But those are roles reserved for real meaty characters and scripts much grittier than anything she's been in to this date.
Donald Glover was great. But not enough screen time. It's a whole hour into this before he even makes an appearance.
Woody Harrelson is just doing his thing of being in as many high profile movies as possible.
Paul Bettany plays the role of British villain as expected.
And Joonas Suotamo, the new guy on the block, makes a pretty decent Chewbacca.
At just over 2 hours long, I would not have enjoyed this at the cinema without a break or two. Either that or I would've fallen into a blissful slumber at one point, only to wake up during the end credits.
Watching it in 4 different parts from the comfort of my couch was a much more pleasurable experience.
That said, I was surprised once the credits rolled, as it felt like the setup for more action was just getting traction.
Sometimes, a lighthearted western-sci-fi-space-opera type of movie is perfectly fine.