Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story (2nd Opinion)
After dropping $ 4 billion to purchase the entirety of the Star Wars franchise, I do not blame Disney at all for mining the saga for every element they can to put on film. So it makes sense that the powers that be turned their attention to one of the franchise’s most popular characters, the charming smuggler Han Solo. Solo has been one of the most famous and influential figures in science fiction over the years, characters from Mal Reynolds to Star Lord owe him a debt of gratitude. This is why they launched production on Solo: A Star Wars Story, a look at the formative years of the man who made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.
The process of making Solo has been famously filled with turmoil, as the original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired as the project was deep in progress. Veteran director Ron Howard was then brought in to take the pieces of their work and combine in with his own, to make a film the figureheads at Disney would be pleased with. One would think that with behind the scenes turmoil such as this with a change at the helm and all the rumors swirling around we would get a mess of a flick on the same level as last year’s Justice League. And upon seeing Solo, this was what I expected; but honestly it was fine. The movie was fine. It was not a masterpiece on the same level of Empire Strikes Back but it was enjoyable summer blockbuster. In all honesty, while I enjoy the Star Wars movies, I am by no means a diehard fan of the franchise, so that may perhaps have an effect on my opinions.
This movie follows the path of a young Han Solo, who has escaped his homeworld of Corellia. His goal is to one day return and reunite with Qi’ra. After falling in with smuggler, Beckett and forging a friendship with Chewbacca; he finds himself embroiled in a heist which will change his life forever if he survives….but given that we know the rest of his life’s story it is safe to say he in fact does survive.
Despite the change in the director’s chair, Ron Howard is no rookie in the movie business. If anyone could take a troubled production and turn it into a fun summer blockbuster deserves props. Solo provides plenty of things to be entertained by throughout its run. The action is brilliantly executed and the various heists that our protagonists pull off are an absolute blast to watch. Filling out the supporting cast are a number of really likable characters; Chewie, Beckett, Qi’ra, L3-37, and most notably the scene stealer, Lando Calrissian played with endless charisma by Donald Glover. Sadly the weak spot in the cast is the lead, Alden Ehrenreich. While he does get an A-effort he struggles to capture roguish charm and coolness Han Solo is famous for. As Gfunk101 brought up in his own review (HERE), Ehrenreich struggles in doing the things which came naturally to Harrison Ford, which are the things the smuggler is so beloved for.
While the movie succeeds in the action and humor, you can not help but feel the storyline may need some work. The glaring example is the numerous references to Qi’ra having a dark and troubled past. You get the feeling will have an impact on the plot, but we never find out what they are talking about and it leads nowhere. While Solo is not perfect it is quite an enjoyable summer blockbuster.