The backlash from Star Wars: The Last Jedi is palpable. The destruction in the wake of fans who felt betrayed by a pointless movie, throwing the merits it had in the trash compactor, is visible. They have the right to be angry at reviewers for praising that movie, though none of them are. All that pent up anger leads us to Solo: A Star Wars Story, the latest story told from a galaxy far, far away.
Let's get it out of the way, Alden Ehrenreich does a great job acting in this movie. Is the character he's playing named Han Solo? Yes. Is that the Han Solo you know? No. This is not an unpopular thing to say about the movie. Yes, this is not the Han Solo you know, but I think it is a character that works in this movie. Want me to say a really unpopular thing? Donald Glover is not a very good Lando. Though, just like with Ehrenreich, I think that the character he plays works in this movie as well.
Everyone does a good enough job in the movie acting wise. The characters they are playing might not be the renditions you are familiar with, but it's fine. This movie is fine. It's not the wide-eyed try hard that the Last Jedi was, but averages out to be about the same. There were no breathtaking moments, at no point did I fear for the safety of the characters. It's the same problem that the prequels had. How can you be scared for a character if you know that they live? Obviously different kinds of stakes would need to be created to create suspense, but there really was none. It was a light-hearted movie throughout.
Sure, the movie had to have slower sadder moments, but this movie really reminds me of A New Hope. I can believe that the screenwriters for this movie had ties to the original trilogy. This could have been what all the new Star Wars movies could have turned out to be. And that is where this movie is really hurt, bad storytelling. This movie suffers from the same problem Deadpool 2 did, who is the bad guy. With a wannabe twist and bad pacing, the main problem with this movie is it not having focus.
Another really annoying thing about this movie was the music. Who thought that the peppy music 80% of the time was the way to go? This aspect really made me think of A New Hope without the nuance. All that cool music from the trailers and the energy they brought isn't to be seen either.
The one positive thing I can say about the movie is a storytelling element that most people wouldn't recognize, partly because it is misused and not fully fleshed out. I can't specifically call it out because it would spoil the movie. But, it's about characters and their relationships, which I have a soft spot for.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is not good. I kinda liked the jumbled mixed bag that it was. It had a tone of little references to other things in Star Wars that have no purpose. I guess that you could see this movie, but there really is no reason to.
6/10 They put an SJW droid into the movie, wtf Kennedy?
It's easy to say that Deadpool is a great movie, it had the fan support and a fresh take on comic book movies. Two years later with other movies stepping up to the plate, how does Deadpool continue on? There is more action, more jokes, more meta, and a lot more CGI. This movie embraced going big, but bigger isn't always better. Deadpool 2 fails in some of the key areas that made the first movie so great.
Deadpool 2 is a fun movie. It has so many great meta jokes that never stop coming. So many references to other movies or pop culture in general. It took what made the first movie great and doubled down. The first act of Deadpool 2 is littered with callbacks to the first movie. It gives you a second serving of that kind of humor trying to push it to the edge.
This doesn't always work out though. Yes, there are way more jokes, with a ton of them being great, but more than half of them fall flat. I'm not talking about jokes that maybe made you smirk at first. Jokes that were completely unfunny, that the movie just kept going on about. All the bad jokes really held back the really funny ones, making it harder to get into the movie. Those callbacks to the first movie were nice but made me want to watch the first movie rather than this one.
Deadpool 2 isn't as good as Deadpool. More jokes fall flat, the action is not as well realized, and there was plenty of pacing issues. Who thought it was a good idea to disjointly cut the movie together the way that they did. I'm talking about scenes that did not belong together being put right up next to each other. This created a dissonance to the story that didn't settle until halfway through the movie. Even then, the action problem was a constant reminder that the movie is directed by someone else. It might just be that I don't care for David Leitch's action directing style. The shaky camera shots followed by perfectly still camera shots, to emphasize a specific action, to go back to shaky camera shots.
You know what else was shaky, the CGI. Some of it is good, a lot of it is bad. For a movie that had its budget doubled compared to the previous one, Deadpool 2 had bigger dreams than the money could render. And Cable, what an underpowered guy. He's supposed to be this super strong dude that's scary but comes off as just another mutant. This isn't Josh Brolin's fault a writing problem.
I just want to iterate again that Deadpool 2 is not bad, there is just a lot of room for improvement. It doesn't have the focused storytelling of the first movie, nor the creativity, but it will probably be enjoyable enough for everyone watching it. Its fun, its quips topical, but it feels like there was lost potential in it.
7/10 Has a cameo that beats Matt Damon in Thor: Ragnarok
This is a really weird movie because it doesn't come from the usual DC animated studio. It was created in Japan so it has all of those sensibilities. This change actually does wonders to make the movie more interesting visually. It fills a void in the lazy animation work that is expected from the 2D animation.
There is an inherent interest in Batman Ninja just based on its animation quality. It is a clean art style that was obviously born in Japan. This is probably going to be the main draw for people coming into the movie. But it also acts as a warning sign. Along with the Japanese art style comes the region's storytelling. Convoluted with not too many strings to hold it together, the story is what I would expect. It actually ends up being only a little lower quality than what the regular DC animated movies are like.
So if you combine the amazing art and the story, it actually ends up being pretty on par with what is normally delivered. There are obvious liberties taken with characters and their portrayal but this should be expected for a people not inherently familiar with the source material. I'm not bashing the giant robots reminiscent to Power Rangers or the Japanese dubstep music. I'm just pointing out that a bunch of monkeys group up together to form a giant monkey. Let's just say that this movie doesn't shy away from being light-hearted.
All in all, it's not a very good movie. That means it is in great company for what is expected. It seems like this just brings to light the systematic problem in DC. Empowering creators to make bad movies.
5/10 Even though its bad, has more story than Infinity War