Title: Solo: A Star Wars Story
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clark, Donald Glover, Paul Bentany, Joonas Suotamo
While Rogue One was wholly unnecessary as a film, Solo is even less warranted. However, Solo wins points on sheer entertainment value. No film is really "necessary" and I feel, that is not a valid criticism of any film. Sure, nobody needed to see a backstory for one of the greatest cinematic characters of all time. Nevertheless, Disney made a film about it. And you know what? It's highly entertaining. Almost every frame of Solo: A Star Wars Story, oozes charm. Everyone seems to be having a great time on screen, and it's infectious. Alden Ehrenreich, is actually really good in the titular role. While he will never be Harrison Ford, he does a great job with the character. Woody Harrelson and Donald Glover are fantastic supporting characters here. Glover, is doing a bit more of a Bill Dee Williams impression, but it works for him. While there are some elements of the story that feel like we are merely hitting predetermined beats, for the most part it works. The third act drags a little and it's a bit predictable, but it doesn't take away from the film as a whole. I found myself smiling a lot throughout Solo. It's a very lighthearted film and in a way, Star Wars needs that coming off of The Last Jedi. It's a very enjoyable film and I wish it had done better because, no joke, I kind of want to see more. I am just as surprised as any at how much I enjoyed the film.
Title: Deadpool 2
Director: David Leitch
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Julian Dennison, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller
So the biggest issue with Deadpool 2, is how loose it is. The first film, was a tightly wrapped ball of energy. It was a ball that was being pushed along by the charisma of Ryan Reynolds. While Reynolds, doesn't disappoint here, the film is constantly being threatened to come unraveled. For the most part, somehow, Deadpool 2 never crosses that line. However, there are moments that never quite land and the film can feel crammed; in particular with its jokes, which sometimes feel too forced. That being said, Deadpool 2 is just as entertaining as the first. When the shtick is working, it's really working. Josh Brolin, is also really solid as Cable. I may even prefer his Cable, to his Thanos. The aforementioned Reynolds, was simply born to play this character. His charm and wit, once again make this movie work. The story doesn't always land, but the sheer entertainment value of the film overshadows the problems. The supporting cast of characters, also help the film a lot. If you liked the first, you will like this one. I wish it was a little bit tighter though. Still, it's really entertaining.
Title: Avengers: Infinity War
Directors: Anthony & Joe Russo
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Josh Brolin, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch
For most of its hefty running time, Avengers: Infinity War feels like Marvel is playing catch-up with its own universe. It's kind of a miracle that this film works at all. There's so much happening in this movie, yet so little. There is very little story to go around here, and most of the film just skips along to the next beat the screenplay has to hit. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it makes the film feel more bloated and than it actually is. That being said, enter the characters. The reason this film works, is the ingrained attachment we all have for these characters. The 10 years we've spent with these characters and actors, in this universe. When the film isn't trying so hard to be epic, it's the small character moments that work the best. Brolin, is fine as Thanos. While the effects on the character work, they don't work all the time (including his cronies). It feels like they were perfecting it as they went along. Which means by the end, when it matters most, they got it right. Brolin's performance is able to shine through some of the more "Uncanny Valley" moments of the character. When it's over, how you feel is going to depend on how invested you are with these characters. I want to see where this goes, even if I'm not jumping out of my seat. Avengers: Infinity War is an entertaining, often times muddled, hefty mess, but entertaining nonetheless.