Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), Dir. Ron Howard

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), Dir. Ron Howard
If you come with us, you’re in this life for good.
— Tobias Beckett, Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Joonas Suotamo, Paul Bettany, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ray Park.
Director: Ron Howard
Screenplay: Jon Kasdan & Lawrence Kasdan.

The Good:

Donald Glover and his beautiful swagger as he fills the shoes and expands on Billie Dee Williams interpretation of Lando Calrissian. He is a dream; the personification of having a good time and showing the importance that a supporting role can have to lift the energy of a movie. Just like in Empire, Lando switches the gears of the film's flow that bring a breath of different air onto the screen. 

Emilia Clarke is stunning and has immediately changed my opinion on her skill levels as an actor. She plays Qi'Ra as always holding a secret that you know little Solo can never see through. Her companion Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) is also a highlight as an intriguing villian.

Han (Alden Ehrenreich) first meeting with Chewie (Joonas Suotamo) is actually awesome, which I was not expecting. It had character, humour, and emphasises their bond that will last through this entire franchise.

I also mostly like the production design, lighting—though at times too dark—, costuming, and general world building that creates a more complex world than a usual Star Wars movie.

The Bad:

Somehow it being set in the Star Wars universe it made the world bland while showing us a whole bunch of new stuff. It feels flat which is not a phrase that I would use for any other Star Wars film. Something is always happening on screen but I never feel engaged in it. Most Star Wars films I feel a part of the experience, not just viewing it.

There is no character development for Han. The rationale for a origin story is to show how a character becomes the character we know. Instead we get a character that is no further on his emotional journey than when we first meet him. Ehrenreich plays a very charming role and I am entertained by his performance, but this film needed to have done more than Solo being Solo if you have made him your protagonist. 

Final Thoughts:

Ultimately this is a one note kind of film which is not always a bad thing but when this is your second stand alone story you should still be making top notch, amazing films. Rogue One while not everyone's cup of tea holds enough weight to be worthy of exisiting. Solo needed just a little more reason for being here.

★ ★ ★ 1/2