Solo: A Star Wars Story is the new standalone film in the Star Wars franchise. The movie gives us an idea about the main character Hans Solo played by Harrison Ford in the George Lucas franchise. While it isn’t really a boring one for someone who is familiar with the franchise, there is nothing new here to make it feel like a good movie. While the first standalone film Rogue One went on to become a fabulous film which was called the best star wars movie by a certain category, Solo directed by Ron Howard doesn’t have anything of that sort to its credit.
Young Han and his girlfriend Qi’ra wanted to escape from the planet Corellia where they were used as slaves to build ships. But in the last moment of their escape plan, Qi’ra gets captured and the couple got separated. Han decides to comeback as soon as possible to rescue Qi’ra and for that he joins a gang of criminals and the movie basically shows us how his plans to save Qi’ra goes and what all things happen in that journey.
What Solo lacks is intrigue. It is written by Lawrence Kasdan who wrote Star Wars, so that texture of a Star Wars movie is definitely there in the content. But like I said, there is no intrigue in the story telling process. And the narrative here is apparently very flat. When I saw Rogue One and the way it blended to the existing Star Wars universe, there was a feeling of satisfaction because the movie used its narrative to give a thrilling experience. Here we can sort of easily predict what could well happen when we see each phase in the story. There are moments of excitement in the story like when we get to know that Han was offered a role in the rebellion and how he refused it and also the pivotal reason why he couldn’t be with his girlfriend Qi’ra, but they all are very sporadic and the in between space makes the movie feel a bit ordinary.
I read Lucas films hired an acting coach to train Alden Ehrnreich as they were not satisfied with his performance. Well the coaching hasn’t really managed to get them the desired result as we only get to see Ehrnreich giving a smirk every time to show he is the Han Solo one saw in Harrison Ford. Emilia Clarke was pretty convincing as Qi’ra who has certain emotional dilemma in this story. Woody Harrelson was good as the mentor Tobias Beckett. Donald Glover chips in with an impressive performance as gambler Lando. Paul Bettany is also here in an antagonistic shade as Dryden Vos.
The reason why Ron Howard was roped in as a director after the initial director duo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired was that they were making it more of a comedy where as the studio’s interest was to give it just a comedic texture. When you look at the movie on the whole, you can sense that Joss Whedon kind of humor which DC tried to include in Justice League happening here as well. Well to Ron Howard’s credit, the movie is never a dull experience as he sticks to the original narrative pattern of the Star Wars movies. But the screenplay written by Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jonathan Kasdan isn’t really offering much here and at a time when these fictional superhero type fantasy movies are bravely experimenting quirky or emotional making patterns, a flat story like Solo, feels inadequate. The visuals are largely in this darker tone and it’s only towards the climax we get to see some sunlight. The visual effects have quality for sure, but somewhere I felt the excessive use of it reduced the grandeur.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is watchable for sure. But looking at the way the studio was able to make a movie like Rogue One as an origin story, this one feels like a really dull take. It’s not a huge mess as some may have anticipated that due to the controversies it went through during the making, but Solo deserved a better movie.
It is not a huge mess as some may have anticipated that due to the controversies it went through during the making, but Solo deserved a better movie.