Solo: An Underwhelming Star Wars Story
Solo… Apparently, the movie is also aware that it has only one redeeming quality. Now if it seems like I showed you my critical hand too early, don’t get cocky because there’s a fair amount of things that I enjoyed. The spectacle of the adventure did keep entertained. There were a few chases that in one way or another, captured the novelty of high-speed spaceships in a Star Wars movie.
The story follows a young Han Solo growing up in a rough world, “scratching and surviving,” if you will. He has a love interest who he wishes to run away with. Get a ship, get the girl, and get moving – that’s Han’s motivation. During his journey, he stumbles upon an opportunity to fast-forward his prospects, which leads him to getting entangled with a dangerous group. The problem with the plot is essentially it just doesn’t really feel like we’re progressing Han’s story. Don’t get me wrong, many things happen, at an alarmingly fast pace but it doesn’t really factor into Han’s character. Everything he experienced, aside from meeting Chewbacca did little to no credit in establishing him as younger Solo. Was this on purpose?
Woody Harrelson as Beckett, was as cool and charismatic as most of his characters are. I found his motivations to be oddly placed near the end. Don Glover playing Lando, was pretty serviceable. I think the issue is Billy D was playing a hyper-personified embodiment of smooth. There’s no way you can be that smooth in every situation, so this allows us to see a part of Lando that no one has seen. Watching him lose his cool at times doesn’t mean he isn’t Lando, it just means we never spent enough time with Billie’s version to validate how this person would emotionally react in a life or death situation. Lando’s robot whom I will not bother to name because, in the end, her entire existences boils down to “forced”. Why was she behaving the way she did? Why was she a borderline comical exaggeration of the very SJW title that the company is accused of being? Her attitude was always overbearing, constantly annoying and in the end, everything she stood for made no impact on the movie as a whole… Which would have been fine, but the movie kept bringing it up as if it was going to play back later in the movie.
Then there’s Emilia Clarke – Mother of Draggings – who continues to amaze me with roles that fail to reach the same height as her role on Game Of Thrones. I’m not sure what this character wanted, I’m not even sure the character knew what she wanted by the end of the movie. Now, Han played by Alden Ehrenreich was pretty good if you ignore the fact that he’s supposed to be Han Solo. He has moments where he does “Han things” but his performance is proof enough that the movie could’ve been “Alden: A Space Story,” and probably been better because of it. Paul Bettany is fun, but when he raises his twirling mustache meter to 12, he becomes too silly to be threatening.
Who Is Han?
The biggest oversight the movie made was, they wanted to make an epic adventure but forgot to develop Han. After the movie ended I asked my friend who isn’t a Star Wars fan, “do you feel like you got to know Han”? She replied, “Not really.” The adventure, the goals, and the comedy were all there but after the high of the movie faded, I thought to myself, I feel I know just as much about him as I did before. Perhaps some felt that seeing Han come into possession all the iconic things he owns was enough. Maybe they figured seeing him roughing about in the space ghetto was sufficient insight into his past. However I already assumed he had a rough beginning, therefore to me, nothing was truly gained. All that is left is a past love interest that we know will not be of any influence in the future, due to us knowing how Han’s story ends.
Movie Do or Don’t
Gonna have to say Don’t to this one. The movie did keep me entertained at moments. In the end, it’s amazing sound and set pieces, fail to recover from an overall generic adventure and lackluster character investment.