Solo A Star Wars Movie Film Review
After all that Solo A Star Wars Movie went through these few years, I’m surprised that it turned out well it did, actually. You know the history. You’ve heard about the troubles. The difficulty in the production, the change of writers and directors. But with the chaos behind, Solo A Star Wars Movie finally arrived in theaters. And I must say it was not what I expected. In a good way.
At the very beginning of the movie, we see young Han (Alden Ehrenreich) and his lover Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) trying to escape the clutches of a local criminal gang in the shipbuilding world of Corellia. But in the very last seconds of escaping their misery, she will be apprehended and he will join the Imperial Navy as a flight cadet. Cut to three years later Han (now Solo) is now a loose cannon. He will not only get expelled from the Imperial Flight Academy for insubordination, he will also join the gang of criminals posing as Imperial soldiers. The gang is led by Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson), and he will join in their latest heist job. Stealing the shipment for Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), a high-ranking crime boss in the Crimson Dawn syndicate. Han will meet some new faces along the way (Chewie and Lando for instance) but the heist itself will prove to be much difficult task than anticipated.
What I loved about Solo A Star Wars Movie, is that despite being a movie from the Star Wars universe it had very little Star Wars recognizable things in it. I mean Jedi masters, lightsabers and even boring council meetings. No, despite being a Star Wars movie, Solo is more a heist movie put in a Star Wars universe. And that’s what makes it fun. It’s not a master piece of movie for sure, but the basic, simple plot peppered with great leading actor and even greater action scenes is what drives the movie forward.
Alden Ehrenreich had big shoes to fill in here, since the character of Han Solo is even to this day associated with the very talented and charismatic Harrison Ford. He’s no Harrison Ford but he does brings a great deal of charisma and charm in this movie, and as the film progresses, you can actually see that he’s getting a little more comfortable playing young Han Solo. However, one thing remains unchanged until the very end. The lack of chemistry with Emilia Clark. The sparks are not there at any point of this movie, and to tell you the truth, Han has more on screen chemistry with Chewie, than with Qi’ra. But the troubles with the female characters don’t stop there. It’s just the scratching below the surface.
Underneath you’ll find bad ass female characters being killed of very early on (Val Beckett), strong female characters that doesn’t know what they should portray or should be for that matter (Qi’ra), and strong female characters that are more annoying than useful. Yes, I’m looking at you L3-37. This movie has a serious problem with the ladies. If the movie didn’t had them on the roaster, you wouldn’t have felt the change in the movie dynamic, plot or anything else really. There were solely to kill precious minutes of screen time, and it sucks.
Donald Glover on the other hand is fantastic in the role of Lando Calrissian (despite having a very limited screen time), and Woody is not bad either, but Solo suffers from a very debilitating „week villain“problem. I don’t know what went wrong for Dryden Vos here. Was it the change of actor in this role (Michael K. Williams had originally been cast, but he was removed from the final film after being unable to return to set during the film’s reshoots.) Bettany was cast in his place, with the character being reworked from a motion-capture alien (described by Williams as half-mountain lion, half-human) to a scarred near-human alien lifeform, and I guess much of that character was left on the cutting board floor. Seriously. The main villain of this film appears for the first time midway through the film and you can barely see him in 4-5 scenes after that. Bettany tried his best to breathe some life into the character, but there was so much that he could do, with so very little material.
But despite the movie’s suffering in the character department, you can’t really say that it lacked action. In fact it had plenty of action scenes what were decent and entertaining to watch. Ron Howard and cinematographer kept the overall visual tone with earthy, muddy colors that were more on the grey-ish side of the color spectrum and it was a bit unusual at first, but you quickly get used to it.
All in all, Solo A Star Wars Movie was more decent attempt of a solo origin story than I anticipated. Not the brightest star in the Galaxy, but it was fun, exciting and very entertaining origin story of one of the greatest characters ever. It certainly (well not for me at least) didn’t deserved the backlash and the poor box office turnout that it got. Worth the watch.