With Star Wars: Visions premiering on Disney Plus today, I’m reminded of Photek’s Ni Ten Ichi Ryu (Two Swords Technique). This was a classic that used to play on MTV’s Electronica show, AMP, back in the 1990s. It was also used in the end credits…
I’m reluctant to label Solo: A Star Wars Story an Incident.
Maybe it’s because it’s a heist film, which I love. Perhaps it’s because the cast is fun to watch on screen. Then again, I felt the same experience here that I did with Rogue One. The film almost lost me until it started to induce some nostalgia. I had a tough time feeling anything for most of this film. Maybe I’ve just reached the age where I can put Star Wars on the shelf and maybe move on from it altogether. Judging by the number of people who chose to check their cell phones rather than watch the movie, I don’t think I’m alone there.
I initially bought a ticket for the 10:15pm Thursday IMAX showing, and then realized I wanted to come home early. I purchased a 7pm 3D showing, which is where this review is coming from. I didn’t feel the need to stay for the IMAX. Maybe that’s the best way to sum it up.
The movie was originally helmed by The Lego Movie’s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, but due to creative differences, they were taken off the project and replaced by Ron Howard. Howard’s familar with Lucasfilm, having worked on Willow back in the late 1980’s. The result of this is that you have a very safe film. Howard dots the I’s, crosses the t’s and make the movie everything the writing duo of Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan need. Since we know where Han & Chewie are going to end up, it’s just a matter of getting from Point A to Point B, without any real worries about the characters. I’m somewhat curious of what we could have had if Lord/Miller stayed on.
2121 Jump Street, perhaps?
The movie finds a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich, Beautiful Creatures, Hail Casear) looking to acquire some Hyperfuel, a power source that most smugglers pay a handsome price for. He dreams of becoming a pilot, someday having his own ship so that he can be reunited with an old flame/partner named Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke, Me Before You, Game of Thrones). This leads him to eventually join up with a heist crew and a task that needs to be fufilled. I won’t give away any more, but it’s a great thing to see all of the pieces fall into place.
The supporting cast in Solo is wonderful. That was something that felt right. Between Donald Glover’s scene stealing Lando Calrissian (which eerily sounds like Billy Dee Williams sometimes), Paul Bettany’s Dryden Vos, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s L3-37, everyone in Solo gives a good performance. Aldenreich, I’m not sure of. I didn’t expect him to be Harrison Ford, but he seemed a little generic, for want of a better word. You could have plucked him out, subbed in someone else and it might be the same. At least, that’s how I felt. Still, he doesn’t give a bad performance.
From an effects standpoint, there are a number of creatures and various new ship tech to behold. It all looks and feels great (especially the Millenium Falcon flight sequences), though I should point out that the 3D presentation isn’t really necessarily. In fact, the first 20 minutes of the film are so dimly lit that the sunglass effect of 3D shades feels like you’re just watching silhouettes on screen. Howard does a good Job of setting up scenes and keeping everything flowing. It’s a pretty tight production, overall and you’ll be suprised at how fast the film seems to move.
John Powell (X-Men: The Last Stand, The Bourne Trilogy, How to Train Your Dragon) takes on the musical responsibilities since Michasel Giacchino’s doing everything else for Disney these days. It’s a great score, though if there is a particular time for Han, I can’t say I caught it. I do plan on picking up the soundtrack when it comes out next week.
Overall, Solo: A Star Wars Story isn’t one you have to run to the theatre for. It’s not a terrible film by any means. It just didn’t hold me for the film’s first half. Really, if you can wait the three months to catch it digitally, you might be better off doing so.
Of course, as the Dude from the Big Lebowski says “That’s just like, your Opinion, man.” Go out there, see the film and form your own. Hope you enjoy it.