Ahmed Aiman’s review published on Letterboxd:
The fatal flaw this movie suffers from is that it gave priority to introducing the characters over introducing its main plot and setting-up its story and the world it take place in. This resulted in making me interested in almost each character, but this absolutely wasn't enough to make me care for them when they are in danger as much as I should. Case in point, the first battle in which I didn't feel the least threat to the characters. But the biggest problem here is that I was nearly lost in the story. I was having fun seeing the characters react and talk, especially because they all have great chemistry with each other, but that definitely isn't what a movie need to be good.
Fortunately, the things got progressively better after the first act till this flaw completely diminished and then entirely disappeared. With that in mind, I became totally invested in the story as much as I was, and was still, invested in the characters.
The battle scenes, and the action set-pieces don't seem fresh or new, and that's exactly what made them so much fun to watch. Ron Howard shot the action sequences in a very classical way, and that's made me feel as I was watching one of the original trilogy's movies. That was very nostalgic!
Almost every scene that takes place inside the Millennium Falcon is staggering! Notably, the long battle scene that appeared in the movie's trailer. This scene is my favorite scene in the entire movie; it is a very intense scene that put me on the edge of my seat, add to that it showcases how terrific the chemistry between our main characters is. Ron Howard's vision of the Millennium Falcon is really looks fresh.
The action isn't the only thing in Solo that feels old-fashioned, but that applies to almost every aspect in this movie, most notably the denouement of the plot. The plot has classic plan that has plenty of back-to-back twists and turns near the end of the movie. Most of them worked pretty well, and I really was fooled many times, except the last one that was downright dull and stupid.
Alden Ehrenreich did a great job as the titular character. It's not like he was the only choice to play Han Solo, but he did his best embodying the character, and walked the fine line between coolness and imprudence that I couldn't help but imagine Harrison Ford's face watching him In action. In addition, Han's scenes with Chewbacca are magical as always.
I was worried about Emilia Clarke playing a Star Wars character, simply because I'm not a big fan of her, but she really proved that I was wrong just at the first scene she was in, and I found myself related to her character very fast.
Woody Harrelson is fantastic as always, and had a great chemistry with every actor he appeared with. Also, I loved his character. I think it has some depth, and that's the case with all the main characters.
Donald Glover just nailed it as Lando! He has an unparalleled charisma that really suits his character pretty well that I can't imagine any actor except him playing this role.
But there is one particular character, and one particular performance that really got my attention, and standed out for me. The performance is Thandie Newton's as Val. Her character has a very small role in the movie, but Thandie Newton took this character to another level, and made it one of the most interesting side characters in the movie.
As for the side character that I loved so much, it's the stubborn droid, L3-37. She was a scene-stealer with her funny lines and jokes that are rarely miss, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge's vocal performance was impeccable!
Speaking of the humor, unlike The Last Jedi, this movie didn't try too hard to make its jokes funny. The purpose of the humor here is to keep the movie light-hearted, instead of making us laughing. That being said, most of the jokes worked well for me, especially those which cane from the comic relief character, L3-37 as I mentioned above. To be honest, there are a couple of jokes that fall flat for me, not necessarily because they aren't funny, but because the timing of these jokes was very imprecise, and they didn't match the tone in some particular times.
The visual and sound effects are top-notch as any recent Star Wars film. So I hope the movie gets an Oscar nod in at least one of these categories like every Star Wars movie so far.
Overall, I enjoyed Solo: A Star Wars Story so much, and I wasn't expecting that at all. It's a fun old-fashioned fast-paced action flick that can satisfy any one who wants to watch an entertaining movie while having some popcorn. This movie by no means deserves the hate it got.