Movie Reviews

Solo: A Star Wars Story – A Dull and Effortless Product (Early Review)

As upsetting as it is to say, this film truly has no reason to exist.

Synopsis: Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes. (Disney)

Starring: Alden EhrenreichWoody Harrelson, and Emilia Clarke

Writers: Jonathan Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan

Director: Ron Howard

Rating: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)

Running Time: 135mins

Trailer: 

For showtimes and more, check out Solo: A Star Wars Story on movietimes.com.

From the get-go, Solo: A Star Wars Story shows it’s audience that this isn’t going to be a traditional entry of the Star Wars franchise. The film’s opening action scene is shot in such a different way that you can tell right away that this is going to be a unique piece in the series- aesthetically and tonally. After this scene ends, you can tell that the film is going to be a train wreck, and to no surprise, the remainder of the film becomes one. It is quite angering to say but that’s exactly what Solo is- a train wreck. The concept of a Han Solo film is promising, but Ron Howard’s vision for the story throws away any interesting turns the story could’ve taken right out of the window, resulting in a lifeless and dull film that isn’t made with passion in mind but rather with greed.

Out of the many questionable choices the film makes along the way, one of them is just the way the story progresses. Sure, we know who Han Solo is, and you don’t need to give us a beat-by-beat backstory of his life as it is mostly redundant at this point. However, what was needed, which wasn’t present here, was any kind of character development whatsoever so we, the audience, can actually care for the character. Instead of that, the film just starts with its main characters Han Solo (Ehrenreich) and love interest Qi’ra (Clarke) in a conflict while not giving us much background as to why they were in said conflict and also not telling us anything about either of them, thus giving audiences no emotion to grasp on to as a result.

The acting is definitely not the primary problem here- Ehrenreich and Clarke do the best they can with the material, as does Woody Harrelson as Beckett, plus quite a prospective Lando portrayal by Donald Glover. However, the problem is all in the writing and storytelling. None of these 4 characters have good arcs so the film expects audiences to simply care for these characters because “they are Han Solo’s friends! and everyone loves Han Solo!” Unfortunately, this idea doesn’t work in the films favor, as it takes away any excitement that could be brought into the story.

Strangely, one of the biggest takeaways from the film is that it is the true definition of sensory overload. Way too much was put into the sound and visual effects here, so much so that it often becomes distracting, headache provoking nonsense that’s coated all over the large action set pieces.

As a writer, it is not easy to trash films. However, there are times when we have to speak the truth. As unfortunate as it is, Solo is a boring, uninteresting film that brings absolutely nothing new to the table for this series. Not only that, but anything that could’ve ended well here, doesn’t. The film offers quite a lot of surprises for the die-hard fans of the series, but unless you absolutely have to check this one out, skip it.

Score: 3/10

Follow me on twitter @daniel_azbel and on letterboxd @danthemovieman.

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