Solo was, like most blockbusters now, too long (more like SOLOng amiright guys). Many many action films need to buckle their swash more tightly right now.
But Solo is notably weird in this instance because I think the tone is pretty much pitch perfect and of all the Star Wars offerings that don’t need padding or that shouldn’t be embarrassed about having people have stuff to say, this would be the one. Characters are likeable and rounded, Ehrenreich’s Han in particular Is an unbelievably impressive reading of a young Harrison Ford but somehow without straying into a direct impression, L3 is another tremendous droid (a real hit for the new Disney franchise for me, the Droids), and Paul Bettany essentially rehearsing for a Bowie biopic is a wickedly charismatic cameo. The rest of the cast aren’t much behind, and in most other genre films would be comfortable star turns, there’s little to no chaff in that respect, and their strengths are what propel the film and make the majority of it fluid and breezy and effortless, despite a basically forgettable plot-people go places, meet other people, do jobs, shoot stuff, escape, meet more people, something,whatever.
It’s a proper adventure because of the company you’re in though and for me the one that feels most Star Wars of all the offerings precisely because it dosent seem to be shackled by fan service or the need to scream that it’s STAR WARS GUYS. The respect comes from the professionalism and craft of the writing and acting, not reverential kowtowing. You root for the characters because you like them as they are in front of you, not because they were in a New Hope etc. If this was just called Space Pirate Man, a non franchise related story, it would lose little to nothing of its essence.
And yet. It’s still too much Star Wars guys. This is a really great fun film, honestly it is. But I’m bored of Tie Fighters now, I’ve seen so many fucking Tie Fighters in the past two years. The first time I saw one this time round I yawned coincidentally , but as I continued to yawn the yawn got bigger and I had the time to think that I really don’t care about Tie Fighters anymore. At the end of the film there’s talk of the Rebellion starting up etc, and my initial excitement at that was quickly replaced by fatigue thinking about having to watch the whole fucking Star War more or less play out in real time now.
My big take away from the experience of the Disney chapter is that the best new Star Wars films are the ones least interested in trying to repeat Star Wars. Unfortunately the rabid zeal of people who want everything to be like Star Wars is going to win out on films and quite possibly in real life, so that’s a shame.