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Movie Review: 'Solo: Star Wars Story' Nothing Special

by Todd A. Smith

 

(Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

 

Birth of the Resistance 

 

1/2


Every story has a beginning before the glory.


Homelessness once claimed media mogul Tyler Perry.


And the Houston Astros once told future Major League Baseball MVP Joe Altuve to give up on his baseball dreams and to never come back for a tryout.


Likewise, Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) did not always lead the Jedi resistance in “Star Wars.”


They too had a story before their glory, and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” tries to tell the backstory, sometimes with success and sometimes without success.


In “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” Han and Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) have everything on their side except location and station in life.


The young couple shares a deep love for each other, but they are stuck on the lawless planet of Correlia.


The shipbuilding planet consists of a large amount of poor orphans, and their leader allows them to have a roof over their head if the children steal for her and bring back the goods.


Han is good at his missions of thievery, but he has ulterior motives behind his thefts.


He wants to steal something valuable enough to get him and Qi’ra off of Corellia so that he can fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot.


After Han steals coaxium and does not turn it over to the right people, he comes up with a plan to use the coaxium to bribe their way off of Corellia.


Han succeeds at getting off of Corellia. 


However, Q’ira is captured and is forced to remain on the lawless planet.


Forever in love, Han vows to learn how to fly as a pilot and return to Qi’ra to retrieve the love of his life.


Unfortunately for Han, his plans for life hit a snag when he is kicked out of the Empire’s pilot program and forced to be a foot soldier for the oppressive regime.


His problems multiply when his beef with fellow soldiers get him in hot water again.


The only way to fix his problems and reunite with Qi’ra is to team up with some former enemies and the evil criminal syndicate known as Crimson Dawn.


The leader of Crimson Dawn wants Solo and his crew to steal coaxium and return it to him.


If they cannot pull off the caper, the least of Han’s worries will be reuniting with Qi’ra.


Throughout “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” fans of the science fiction franchise will see how Han got his name and how he met Chewbacca and Lando.


Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams portrayed the epic characters Han and Lando in the original run for the franchise, respectively.


While the “Star Wars” franchise has resurfaced in many forms throughout the decades, nothing beats the original cast of characters.


Although “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is not a great film, it is above average enough for fans of the franchise to somewhat enjoy.


Ehrenreich does a decent job as Han Solo, but he is no Ford.


Honestly, very few actors have ever reached the star power of Ford, so that is not a slight to Ehrenreich.


The young actor has enough personality, though, to carry the next generation of “Star Wars” films.


And while Glover possesses some swag and suave characteristics, very few actors have had the charisma of Williams.


Glover, like Ehrenreich, is close enough in star power to the original actor that played his character to somewhat pulling off such a huge role.


Despite the fact that “Solo: A Star Wars Story” does not have the star appeal of its predecessors, the film does benefit from Solo’s escapades as a daring pilot.


The action scenes in the film measure up to the films that came before it in this iconic franchise.


And like any science fiction film, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” has its eccentricities like Lando’s pansexual relationship with a droid.


While the relationship and attraction between Lando and a droid reeks of weirdness, it does not make the film too weird like Hollywood has a tendency of doing.


Nevertheless, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” has struggled since its inception.


The studio replaced the original directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord in the middle of production.


Filmmaker Ron Howard replaced the ousted duo.


But even the great Howard could not produce a movie that is more than just above average.


Howard should have taken moviegoers back even further and showed fans what it was like for Han growing up, not just presenting him as a fully developed adult character.


The original directing duo got fired because of creative differences.


That change in direction will forever get questioned after seeing the finished product.


Fans will always wonder what Lord and Miller saw for the prequel.


Possibly, their version would not have fared better than Howard’s, but fans will never know.


The latest “Star Wars” films have not added much to the franchise.


Fortunately, this prequel leaves the door open for more prequels and hopefully the follow-ups to this film will give fans more to add to the franchise’s legacy.


Unfortunately, recent sequels and this prequel seem like money grabs that prey on the nostalgia of true fans.


Although Glover and Ehrenreich are new to the game and future box office superstars, their newness to the game is not the only problem.


Even established stars like Woody Harrelson and Thandie Newton do not add anything special to “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”


The film does not present any of the uniqueness of its predecessors.


“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is just a basic story without much imagination and personality.


And that is unfortunate for true fans of the film franchise.


Nevertheless, at least fans get to see how the story originated and how comrades met and began their battle against the Empire.


All glorious stories have a beginning.


However, some backstories do not deserve the big screen treatment because the struggle to get to their apex does not contain enough drama and intrigue.


Unfortunately, sometimes the beginning is not as exciting as the end result.

 

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” falls into the aforementioned category.


REGAL RATINGS

FOUR CROWNS=EXCELLENT

THREE CROWNS=GOOD

TWO CROWNS=AVERAGE

ONE CROWN=POOR

This article was published on Friday 25 May, 2018.
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