Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
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This a very well made film that anyone can enjoy. Plot, acting, FX, Photography, Cast, etc. They did a great job with everything. Taking into account the enourmous pressure of making a film from such a historical franchise, I take my hat off for anyone who has the bravery to do this.
So, go and watch it, not with skepticisim, but with that natural feeling of curiousity and love you have every time you sit at the movie theater. I promise, you'll be pleased.
However, I must say that the negativity this film has received is undeserved. The story is solid, if a bit predictable at times. The dialogue and acting are FAR better than in any of the other recent Star Wars films, except perhaps Rogue One. Notably in comparison to Last Jedi, the story has a logical flow, there are no side-stories that make no sense, nor any ham-handed attempts to milk humor out of an unrealistic scene. I can't say it enough, this movie actually makes sense and has a believable story.
If there is a problem, it is that Star Wars is becoming another Marvel Universe, where everything has already been done in one way or another. For non-star wars fans, this will be a perfectly serviceable action/sci-fi adventure, with characters whose struggles most people should recognize from other stories in these genres. I was pleasantly surprised at how some characters were killed- it actually made me worry that anyone could be in danger, even knowing that this was impossible. It was emotionally real.
For Star Wars fans, there are heaps of references to the extended universe. These were done in a way that made sense and gave service to old Star Wars stories. Teras Kasi, Aurra Sing, Chewy being ~200 years old, among others. There are glimpses at what the every day life of an average citizen in the empire would experience (spoiler: not nice). Han as a character is played true to form: a guy who has seen some bad things, done some bad things, but still, deep down, is good.
I liked it. Don't listen to the fanatical homers whose own self-absorption with Star Wars prevents them from enjoying anything that doesn't conform to their pre-determined view.
As for the movie itself, my opinion is that it's a solid adventure movie, in the style of the great Indiana Jones movies, with lots of fun and intense action, witty dialogues, great humor and solid acting from all actors.
Yes, Han must meet a certain Wookie, obtain a certain spaceship and meet a certain curly hair character to maintain coherence with past movies, but the "necessary" scenes, even if expected are still brilliantly developed. On top of these scenes, there are several surprising scenes that run the gamut of the best of what the Star Wars universe offers: chases, spacecraft battles, shootouts, aliens galore and lots lots of anti laws of physics split-second solutions.
Still, my favorite take from this movie is that they finally managed to shoot an amazing movie that is far from the epic good-evil battles of previous Star Wars movies, and this is completely in tune with the Han Solo character (and, btw, I think Alden Ehrenreich is a perfect match for the role).
In summary, if you think the movie is "unnecessary" and not needed, it will indeed disappoint you and I would advice you not to watch it, but if you go to watch it with a no-expectations open mind, I think you'll be greatly pleased and much entertained.
(and my excuses for any English mistakes; my mother tongue is Spanish)
After the news of Alden Ehrenreich needing some extra help to get the character of Han Solo, I wasn't sure he could capably perform in the lead. He caught me completely off guard, he was great as Han Solo. He's not Harrison Ford (and no one could have matched him as Han), but he has the charisma, the toughness and the comic timing and I think he pulled it off. He bounces off Joonas Suotamo (who plays Chewbacca) well and I thought he also had good chemistry with Emilia Clarke who played his love interest Qi'ra. Clarke did well, her performance as Daenerys is still better but this was a step in the right direction. She's had trouble getting off the ground when it comes to acting in movies and this will hopefully be that stepping stone for her. Donald Glover does a fine Lando impression, there was a lot of praise for his version of this character and I largely share those sentiments. Woody Harrelson is solid as Beckett, he's appropriately slimy but he invites you in enough that you want to believe in him. Thandie Newton is good for the limited time we get to spend with her. I also liked Paul Bettany, but he was kneecapped by his character.
I would put this in the heist movie genre but there are a couple of big action set pieces. Despite the troubled production, they were actually pretty great. Between the fight on the train and the escape/heist from the spice mining planet are both excellent. I didn't have a problem with the ending fight for the action choreography and even that bit had its moments. They pack the thrills and there were some unexpected outcomes for that little extra payoff. If anything, Solo proves you don't have to have a lightsabre duel to keep audiences on the edge of their seat.
My problems with Solo: A Star Wars Story boil down to 2 things. The first is that Bettany's character of Dryden Vos is a weak villain and although the ending boasts a couple of unique twists, its undercut by the lack of a real threat. Bettany's a great actor and they gave him a decent backstory, but a surprise betrayal comes in the 3rd act and instead of getting 2 sinister threats, we end up with none. The second is that Solo feels somewhat clunky or as if the movie is being too obvious when it brings in iconic items for Han or connects to the larger Star Wars universe. Solo works best when it operates as its own story, the seams only start to show when you really examine how it fits in the original timeline or when characters from other movies cameo.
I expected very little from this movie. I already mentioned all the bad press the movie got and while I went into this movie open-minded, the negativity surrounding Solo did lower my expectations accordingly. While it's far from perfect, I had a lot of fun with this movie. Between the taught pace, the solid acting from the cast and the infectiously happy vibe the movie boasts, I was swept up in it. It doesn't nail every aspect, but it gets far more right than it doesn't and I'm not going to drop it down to a 4 or a 5 because of some nitpicks. My actual rating for Solo: A Star Wars Story is somewhere between an 8-9/10 but I'll go with an 8/10 to be safe.
For awhile, the magic of Star Wars was that of not knowing what to expect and getting to analyze an entire lived-in universe by yourself or with your friends throughout the years. With Solo, that magic is lost. You know you will be dealing with limited stakes since Solo and Chewie are pretty much okay and surely alive after this movie. You know that it will hit the basic story beats of how he becomes an outlaw, a rebel and eventually the iconic smuggler with a secret heart of gold we all know and love. You know he'll get the Falcon, you know he'll end up with Leia anyway. There's no mystery here, everyone knows the answer and we're all left with awkward suspicions about how things will play out.
Alden Ehrenreich does a, for the most part, fantastic job as Han Solo and he makes the role his own, probably one of the better parts of this movie. Lando (Donald Glover) and Chewie both get their moments, and also stand out in their roles. Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) weirdly fall flat as the new additions for Solo, aside from an obvious wisecracking droid to entertain us and give us some emotional moments, the two side characters that are meant to be the people that influence the title character are bland and uninteresting. Beckett seems to be just a ticket for Han to go follow him wherever he goes only to just ride backseat in the mission in the end. While Qi'ra plays the love interest of Han who we never get to know much about aside from pointless and explicit exposition. She also has a vague and messy arc that makes not just Han, but the audience confused as well. At one point, you're not sure where her allegiance lies, what her motivations are and what drives her to stick or stay away from Han.
Moreover, the story really doesn't aim to tell a properly structured narrative, instead it felt like a "Han's Biggest Hits Montage" all through out. Now this is not to say that it's hard and impossible to tell a proper movie about iconic persons/events we probably know about and/or have learned about and theorized ourselves. Rogue One (2016) was able to do it to an admittedly better extent, and quite masterfully in the James Bond reboot with Casino Royale back in 2006. To use Casino Royale as an example, it's a perfect story that shows how James Bond became THE James Bond we know and love, the commanding, suave and rough 007 agent. When the movie starts, he's not yet quite the Bond we're used to know yet, but what happens in that film contributes to why he changes. Then in the end, that's the only time we get the iconic line of James Bond introducing himself because that character has earned it through the context of the film. While Solo tried to achieve this same level of success, it falls hard on its knees really hard in the process. The definition of "context" the filmmakers had in mind with Solo was just throwing in fan service after fan service of what made Han Solo iconic, but we never really see why THIS character in THIS film in particular earned that iconic status. Han is basically the same person from the beginning till the end, compare this to James Bond in Casino Royale wherein his relationship with Vesper and how it ended changed his character forever, inevitably giving strong emotional and narrative context as to why he became how he is. This is never explored in the film and it instead becomes a by-the-numbers, monotone, and dull looking film.
Disney has bought the rights to Star Wars and in order to get their investment back they must earn money: I get that. So they made a sequel trilogy to Return of the Jedi and are planning a brand new one in the future too. I get that as well. At the same time they produce stand-alone movies so they can have a Star Wars movie every year. Logical. But why choose Han Solo as a subject, a project that can only fail?
Making a Han Solo movie without Harrison Ford is a big risk. Who can follow in his iconic footsteps? Actor Alden Ehrenreich does a decent job, but he can't make us forget the original actor. It's not even close. Trying to see the movie as a non-Han Solo movie isn't possible either, because you're constantly reminded that Alden is supposed to be the real deal. I don't know how many times the famous dice (Solo's lucky charm) is shown to proof this or when Alden tries to smile like the famous scoundrel.
Then the story... Well, somebody must have asked the question: "Okay, we'll do Han Solo. Which elements of his past can we use? How he met Chewbacca, how he won the Falcon, the Kessel run... well, they all appear in the story. Wow, that's some lazy writing! And remember that famous scene in the Godfather part 2 when Vito arrives in America and somebody asks him his name? Well, there is a similar scene in this movie explaining Han's surname. What, has he lived his life all the time without one? No, it doesn't look like a tribute. Again, it's just some lazy writing.
Visually the movie is also disappointing. The first part, when we meet Han and his girlfriend Qi'ra for the first time, even looks like a middle-of-the-road Direct-to-DVD film. There is a nice scene however when Han and his crew must rob a train (as shown in the trailer). To me that was the (visual) highlight of the movie.
In the end there's an effort to make this stand-alone film fit more into the Star Wars movie canon by showing a famous character that will probably play a big part in the sequel. This surprise comes out of nowhere and it just doesn't work. And yes: sequel. Depending on the success two sequels will follow. At the end of part 3 Han will probably walk into the cantina on Tattooine to meet Obi-Wan and Luke for the first time. So yes: that doesn't happen in this movie.
It's incredible that the great Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the lost arc) co-wrote this story. There are absolutely no surprises in there and the character build up (of Solo and Emilia Clarke's Kira, pardon: Qi'ra) is very poor at times. The scene in which Han speaks Wookie (!) is an all time low in Star Wars history (only to be outlowed by the "Yippie" from Episode 1 and "Nooooo!" from Episode 3). And a robot with an attitude? Come on! Been there, done that.
I think Disney - like so many Stormtroopers - pretty much misfired with this movie. Who the hell okayed this script? Donald Glover is charming as Lando, but could have had more screentime. Woody Harrelson and Paul Bettany always perform well and Emilia Clarke... well, the movie stops just when her character becomes interesting. Her character could be fascinating in the sequel (that hopefully will not be made).
Ever since I heard of Solo: A Star Wars Story I had a bad feeling about it. I wasn't wrong. Solo is a movie made for all the wrong reasons (money) and should have never been green lit. It's just Star Wars overkill. Let me end with something positive: in the movie theatre there were also fans who did like the movie, so there's a slight chance that I'm too harsh for the film. So if you really want to see it: go ahead!
Oh yeah: there's no aftercredits scene in this film!
Han Solo meets Chewbacca and Lando to get smuggler business of hyper fuel done. However, they decide not turn it to evil dark side at the end. Alden Ehrenreich's acting is ordinary but it is quite acceptable. Audiences expected there would be some familiar actors in this Disney Star Wars marketing product however I unfortunately could not find Harrison Ford in this film. I remember there was his credit in online data but it had gone. Ron Howard's directing had editorial support from Pietro Scalia. What factor made this product dull and boring? That must be the story, screenplay. Is there any dramatic moment in this film? I think that is when tragedy of Solo and Qi'ra happens at expositional sequence at the beginning.
The worst moment is miracle of Solo easily reencountering Qi'ra. This plot defect failed the dramatic dynamics of the entire film and made it extremely boring. I'm sorry, in my mind, true Han Solo is only Harrison Ford. Only Harrison can make this film successful! My rating is 2 out of 10. 1 for Pietro Scalia, and the other for tragedy of Solo and Oi'ra.
Anyway, there is a translational gag for this film that Solo in Chinese means Soros the neoliberal demon. Thus, Chinese translation of this film is Han Solo (Han Suoluo). It is a great job to mention in this review.
You will never see a less emotional moment than when Han meets Chewy. Seriously. Pure conveyor belt Disney.
Signed: in search of a good film
It doesn't have a clear vision - hell, it doesn't have any at all. The pacing of it is all over the place. The story is cliched, weak, it lacks a strong direction. The jokes most of the time fall flat - most of the time they do not work or feel inappropriate and forced. Also the movie's tone is quite inconsistent, while the actors don't really do a convincing job portraying their characters either.
This movie sums up perfectly what Star Wars has become. What once was the holy grail of pop-culture and a shining beacon of hope that showed how mass-appealing movies can carry just as important messages as art-house movies and dramas, turned into something that's anything but reminiscent of Star Wars. It feels like a 4 days old dry burger from a fast-food restaurant that was halfly chewed and spitted out.
There's only one good thing in this movie that leads to my two star rating: as much as it tried through it's entire runtime, it wasn't able to spin SW in the mud the way The Last Jedi did. This movie just wasn't able to be as disrespectful to the world and characters of Star Wars and to it's fans as The Last Jedi was. Because making such an unbelievably bad and insulting movie takes true talent - that the 'masterminds' behind Solo (fortunately) did not have. Or maybe it just wasn't able to make things worse, because Rian Johnson already killed the Star Wars movies, at least in my eyes.
What was once a franchise that had deep spiritual qualities is now nothing more than a Saturday morning cartoon.
Movie after movie I kept thinking "this will be the one that gets us back on track" but each post-Lucas release is worse than the one before it!!!!
Tomorrow I will be selling all of my SW collectables online with the exception of any item related to episodes 1-6.
Good luck in the future, Disney. (You're going too need it.)
This movie is completely unnecessary. It's bland, annoying, predictable and boring. I honestly didn't think it could get much worse that The Last Jedi but it did. The constant SJW identity politics that they insist on injecting into these movies has stolen the soul of the universe. The robot is terrible (worse than JarJar). Han Solo is not charismatic like Harrison Ford. Lando is a joke. This movie was literally a cash grab and you are a sucker if you waste a single dollar on it. If you have to watch this cesspool of of bad puns, cheap jokes, weak characters and terrible story - there's a torrent with your name on it. Two enthusiastic thumbs! PASS!
So, now the fun part. You can always tell it's a Disney bot/click farm when they start the review with something like "i didn't like the last one, but...." or "don't listen to The haters" "my opinion is worth more than anyone Bc I'm 13 years old and have never lived my life without a constant stream of dopamine release from internet likes.". Matter of fact, it would be even worse if it wasn't bots working to keep the average score above 7. If these people are just average humans reviewing the movie, why do they care what other people think? It's almost as if it's really about not only feeling part of some arbitrary greater collective, but being the most loyal media slave. They need others to like the movie so they can know what to like; Actively fighting to deny Disney doing this for any other Reason beyond hi jacking & inserting subversive but subtle mind control into the most popular fictional franchise of all time. These people are clinging to a last shred of self dishonesty Bc they don't want their number one method of escapism taken away from them: leaving them only with the uncomfortable truth of which they've spent their whole lives sanding the edges down, if not running full speed away from it. All whilst being encouraged to do so subtlety underneath the surface of the 4-6 hours of tv watching daily. Throw phones into the equation and the average lemming is in front of a screen for 8-10 hours a day, happily and gullibly following the one directly in front of them off the proverbial cliff.
When u start the review with not liking another movie, it's makes it sound real, ya kno? Like no one can watch this movie and actually dislike it, it has to be an attitude of disdain toward Disney that does it, or being a "hater". It's as if Thyre not lemmings who think they have to like something To be relevant in this culture of escapism and franchises that have risen above criticism. Well I'll take it to the opposite side, I thought both the new trilogy episodes were awful(TFA especially, watch it after the buzz of it being a new continuation to the orbital story wears off if you haven't, and there's zero redeeming value to it) but really enjoyed "Rogue One".
I was robbed of so many of my passions when Disney bought everything from Marvel comic books to Vice news(go ahead and google it, u didn't know they Owned the propaganda for hipsters mill), with the only intention of wringing them dry of every cent, until every piece of power is stripped from the storytelling and we can't stand to even hear the words Skywalker or superhero without becoming nauseous. When u own the full spectrum of media consumption (ESPN, abc, A&E, soon to be FOX, Pixar, marvel, Star Wars, I can keep going but I wont)it's about something far more sinister than simply financial gains. Club 33 y'all. Shhhhhhh! Anyone find the classic hidden weird subliminal messaging designed to wear down a child's moral compass and initiate them, unbeknownst, into an occult state of being?
Back to the point ar hand. Steer clear of this garbage. Beyond the inconvenience of remembering the real Han thru out the flick and how terribly off The guy who plays this "I didn't shoot first" version of solo is; he's also an absolutely horrendous actor. The only redeeming quality of this movie is Emilia being super easy on the eyes with her beauty. Boba fett is the next character to be systematically decimated by the Disney machine. At least rent this or DL it so that Disney doesn't get their cut of the ticket prices.....there's an attempt at a story in here somewhere under the cheap nostalgia triggering cinematic tricks in between lowest common denominator WAY over CGI'd space chases and laser fights that trick your subconscious into believing you're watching a Star Wars flick. This movie could've literally been 45 mins long but somehow got stretched to 2.5 hours. Anyone looking for an actual well told solo origin story should turn to AC Crispin's Han Solo trilogy of novels from the late 90s, far superior; way more enjoyable and believably character driven, and Ron Howard doesn't over milk every emotional sentence, thank God!!!
Every beat of what you sort of expect to happen happens. Chewbacca and Han's friendship was what I bought the most. It honestly felt pure and sympathetic. They got that right. Of course, the heist stuff is fun, but the care for the people and story? Other than the fact that you already know some of them based on previous films, you don't feel the importance of why this needed to be told. It becomes an un-eventful film in the series that really adds nothing new to what you already know about our main characters. It's nice to see Lando because you know him, but in the end he is just there in surface-level form. Nothing against Donald Glover, he was a great casting choice. But if this was your introduction to him or Han, then I'm not sure how much you would care. The reason I felt I could care a little was based on knowing who Han or Lando are in the other movies. I will again say that I enjoyed when the sense of urgency kicked in. You know, when a mission or quest is presented and you go: "Yeah, I'm ready. Let's go on an adventure". It's unfortunate that the adventure leads to no special impact. Creature effects and designs felt organic to the world, so that was nice to see. I bought the underground gambling places a lot more here than I did in "The Last Jedi". Here they blended in to the world and didn't distract. Everything looked and felt like it belonged in the SW universe. Although I would be happy if they didn't over-relay on everything that's nostalgia. Some new element would be nice to introduce. But this movie lands in a safe zone where no big leaps of risks are taken. The problem is that it failed to engage me in the actual story.
The movie didn't make me feel happy or angry, it's a feeling in between. It's probably just fine, but you won't remember most if it. An average sci-fi movie that doesn't do much more than to be mildly entertaining. I have nothing against Ron Howard. I feel more bad for him because he had to take over mid-production and fix what he could. I respect the commitment in his effort, but I think I would have done some changes to make sure it got a warmer reaction. How about Alden "Would that it were so simple" / "The rules don't apply to you" Ehrenreich? Well, he's not a bad actor, kids. Leave him alone. The issue is that I just couldn't buy him as Solo. I'm sorry, Alden. You did your best, but you seemed more like another character. There's glimmers towards the end that remind you that it's supposed to be Han, but again, it's surface level. Not to say that I didn't think his character was like-able. No, he has charisma and humanity about him. But it's sad that it's never to the point where he earns the role and you go; "That's Solo!". I'm gonna end the review by saying that I'm conflicted about it. There are fun scenes to enjoy, but the the bigger picture is... kind of ..uninteresting. I hate to say it, and the worst part is that I'm starting to feel ready to let go of the new SW. If "Episode IX" doesn't give me the motivation to see what happens next, then... What's the point?
PS: There's a cameo at the end and it was actually the most unexpected and exciting part of the movie. But it's also a little bit like: "Oh, I'm happy to see you.. But, what.. Why again?"