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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) | Spoiler Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story
I wanted to love Solo, I really did, but it has serious problems that cannot be overlooked, and it makes me question some of what Lucasfilm is doing. How will they move forward after Episode IX? By looking forward.

Solo: A Star Wars Story has a semi-similar issue The Last Jedi had. In The Last Jedi, the humor was forced and similar to Marvel movies. In Solo, callbacks are forced, harder than they were in Rogue One or any other recent Star Wars movie, and they often set back the movie. The references go out of their way to ask and answer questions that could've been left alone, like how Han got his name and how he and Chewie met.

Depending on the viewer, the answers to these questions may fall under character assassination. Chewbacca is a bit of a brute when he's introduced, as he was held prisoner of the Empire, and killed and ate deserters of the army who were dropped in his pit.

Some of these references unnecessarily setup the original trilogy, or foreshadow it in a way that's more like fortune-telling. Rogue One had to setup the original trilogy because it's a tight timeline. On that note, Solo does fix one issue in The Last Jedi, the use of fuel in ships, and that's appreciated. Solo's timeline isn't clear, so talking about a job on Tatooine near the end of the movie is over-icing the cake.

There's still a good cake underneath though. The production issues people were nervous about do not show. This movie should've looked like a mess story and editing-wise, but if any of Phil Lord & Chris Miller's work was used (about 30% of it was), it's mixed seamlessly with Ron Howard's. In fact, there's only one scene for sure I can say with certainty that's done by Howard. The cast is great, not perfect, but great.

Alden Ehrenreich is doing his damn best to capture Han, and Harrison Ford, and make it his own all at the same time. Overall, he nails it. My only complaint with him, and it may be odd, is I wish his voice was deeper. That's all I would've needed to buy it 100%.

Donald Glover faces the same challenge but hits the mark as Lando. He gets everything just right, and adds a great deal to Lando, like his eccentricities, beautiful wardrobe, and his relationship with Han, Chewie, and the Falcon. When either of them is sitting in the captain's seat, I flashback to the original trilogy, and it does feel right, even if most moments like that feel off.

It's just a misfire, a movie that shouldn't have been made, but I don't feel like my time was wasted by seeing it, either.

If you want the full nostalgia treatment, and the Kessel Run (which is a great sequence), see Solo while it's in theaters. If you're nervous about the movie, wait til it can be seen at home, but don't pass on it entirely.