Solo: A Star Wars Story Review
Going into Solo I didn’t know what to expect. I heard a lot of negative stuff surrounding the supposed troubled production, replacement of directors and the acting coaching for the main lead. The trailers didn’t offer any originality, yet I still held out hope. The idea of creating spin-offs off of this beloved franchise never sat well with me. Having this said, I always judge movies for what they are. That is why I liked Rogue One a lot. Does the scenerio recapulate?
The Last Spin-Off (Hopefully?)
A wise man once said a filmmaker needs three things to make a great movie: a good script, a good script and a good script. There ain’t much of it here. This pains me mostly to say when one of the writers were Lawrence Kasdan, the industry veteran behind works such as Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Return of the Jedi. There is a lot of untinkered with potential within the script. There are scenes fans have waited long to see how they came to be. Even though we get a lot of moments like these, they’re never the highlight.
Sadly, a lot of it isn’t. The first two acts don’t offer anything expansive to truly sink your teeth into. The journey you go along on is there, but doesn’t have your undivided attention. Then there are the more cliche and uncharming lines which we got just a taste of in the trailer.
Despite the stories, Alden Ehrenreich isn’t the problem with the movie. In truth, the problem yet again lies with the screenplay itself. Han is written as if he is someone trying to mimic another person being confident, brash and arrogant. The desire to replicate Harrison Ford’s performance is visible. The inappropriate use of Han Solo’s iconic characteristics bring down the viewer’s engagement. He comes off more as annoying than anything else.
Another criminal offense was skipping out his development. The movie is more interested in telling you Han’s personality and feats rather than show them, execute them or flesh them out.
If the reports are true, Alden Ehrenreich should not have been the guy who was given an acting coach. Instead that honor should have go to Donald Glover. Don’t get me wrong, guy has talent, he just does not suit Lando. The line delivery by the actor simply didn’t feel right. Woody Harrelson’s Beckett was overall a confusing figure. Droids usually make up the more charismatic and quirky side of the universe. Although we do get a good laugh a specific droid is predominantly over the top. Feels like this character lives in another world.
Another thing of note is this movie likes to unutilize perfect characters who work. For an unknown reason, it takes away things full of potential, originality and gives you something else. This something else isn’t particularly bad, but it doesn’t get enough growing space to develop as well.
A major highlight is Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra and Chewbacca. Those are the hearts and souls of the movie that keep it afloat. Going off of what I said above, Chewbacca should have had more to do. I do also wanna point out the action scenes are executed beuatifully especially with one particular person.
I did enjoy the cinematography a lot. Another element which worked was the score. Its implementation felt fresh enough. It didn’t feel though, that it was part of the scenes themselves. The beauty of Star Wars is the world is steaming with rich lore and expansive worldbuilding. Music was always a factor in what made this world attractive. It was just one of the factors of what made it burst with life. I needed this here.
The film just feels like something that’s missing the Star Wars factor. Part of this is why I don’t like the idea of spinning out from the core franchise. It ultimately ends up spinning away from it.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom. Yes, the majority doesn’t work its way up to seek my devoted admiration, however, there is a sequence which does just that. Just when I thought the film was going to go on for longer than it needed to I was surprised. It’s at the final act when things shift away from your typical stereotypes. That’s when the movie finally shows its colors that were lacking before. At one moment I was even in awe of what happened.
Although a bit chaotic, the characters do show themselves at their best. Even some of the performances I earlier complained about suddenly improve by a lot more. Han Solo finally has your attention while the script finally takes the time to treat its audience member with integrity. And just as I mentioned, the action throughout the whole thing is probably some of the best we’ve seen in Star Wars.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is not generic by any means. It only doesn’t try to be something as fruitful as the franchise it’s established to. Even the elements we love and you’d think the writers would completely understand fall flat. Thankfully we at least have the last act which brings for some thought-provoking concepts. The type that make you want to see more which is sort of the goal they had in mind while making this. But is making a sequel such a good idea? Afterall, trouble is always at where the money is.
Will it garner enough money to get a sequel. Weirdly enough I doubt it.