“This idea was doomed from the very start, and that carries over into the final product.”
I think it’s best that I start this review off by stating that I’m not a huge Star Wars fan. I mean I like it as much as the next guy, but when it comes to being really into the stories and stuff you can count me out. So my review of Solo: A Star Wars Story is probably going to be a little different than other reviews of the film. Who am I kidding, this is the internet. No one is ever different.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is a movie that was doomed from the get go in my opinion, and I say that becasue of one simple fact: Harrison Ford is Han Solo. The two people are one in the same, you can’t have one without the other; it just doesn’t work. So who ever thought “Hey, let’s make a Han Solo origin story with an entirely new cast” is a fucking moron. There, I said it. This idea was doomed from the very start, and that carries over into the final product.
Now its easiest for me to break my opinion of Solo: A Star Wars Story into a few parts, and I’ll start with the Star Wars stuff. Now obviously Solo: A Star Wars Story features a lot of Star Wars stuff, becasue it is a Star Wars movie. By Star Wars stuff I mean anything that plays into the lore of the franchise. For instance: the origin of Han’s last name, or the origin of Han’s blaster, or the origin of Chewbacca and Han’s friendship. All of this stuff fucking sucked. Like it really sucked. Every time there would be a semblance of ‘world building’ I wanted to blow my brains out. It’s so infuriating in movies like this becasue we already know the final outcome, and yet the characters on screen dance around the subject with their shitty looks on their faces waiting to drop ‘the bomb’ of truth on the audience. And what makes all of this worse is the largest Star Wars thing in the movie: the characters. Once again Harrison Ford is Han Solo. Seeing Alden Ehrenreich do a painful impression the entire time fucking sucked. Like he wasn’t bad, but it was very obviously an impression. He did nothing to make the character his own becasue he literally couldn’t. Everyone knows and loves Han Solo, and any changes would have pissed them off more. See? Doomed from the start.
But it wasn’t all terrible in Solo: A Star Wars Story, because once you get past all of the Star Wars stuff you get a pretty fun (albeit kind of bland) space heist film. I’ve heard people compare Solo: A Star Wars Story to the Fast and Furious franchise, but that’s not a good comparison in my opinion. Solo: A Star Wars Story had a lot of issues and quite a ways to go before it could be mentioned in the same breath as Fast and Furious. First of all there were a lot of pacing issues in Solo: A Star Wars Story. There were too many instances of “one last job” which made the actual last job less impactful. There were stretches where the film relied solely on the Star Wars stuff that I just finished shitting on, and those were mind-numbingly boring. I will say that the action scenes in the movie were really fun, despite the effects not being the greatest all of the time. Ron Howard’s direction definitely had a lot of pull in these sequences as you can tell it was a veteran behind the camera. Also we got another Clint Howard cameo, so that was fun.
And part of what pulled this movie along for me were a select few of the performances. I found Paul Bettany to be a really compelling villain for one. Despite his motives being rather one-note, his performance delivered a Bond-esque antagonist that just oozed power and this slimy way that really allowed for me immerse myself farther into the film. And the other performance, the one reason I saw this film at all, was Donald Glover. Now much like Alden Ehrenreich, Glover was made to do an impression throughout the entire film. But unlike Ehrenreich, Glover had a little more room to play with the character of Lando. He managed to propel the film with his witty retorts and smooth nature, but also brought a lot of emotion to a few of the darker scenes in the film. I think this more so praises Glover’s ability as an actor, but he really knocked it out of the park with this role.
Overall Solo: A Star Wars Story is kind of a mixed bag. It had a lot of fun parts found in the action sequences and light plot points, but it got bogged down in trying to be a Star Wars movie that carried on the legacy of one of the most popular characters.
I give Solo: A Star Wars Story a C