Muddled Solo saga dark and depressing
It has been 19 years since an offering in the Star Wars franchise has missed the mark as completely as Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The latest offering has plenty of problems but as long as Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace has Jar Jar Binks, it would take a disaster the size of an exploding Death Star to bump Menace from the place as the worst Star Wars movie. Solo comes in second. This tale of the younger days of the roguish Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) is a muddled story presented in a dark and depressing manner that fails to introduce any new memorable characters.
The acting is OK — especially a very charismatic performance from Ehrenreich — and there are the bits and pieces that link together with the Star Wars universe that diehard fans will love. That’s not enough to lift the movie any higher than a level of mediocrity.
The film starts with a young Han Solo trying to find a way that he and his true love, Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), can get their own ship and escape a vile and oppressive world. When their plan fails, Solo finds himself in a war that he hates and authority figures he dislikes even more.
It’s difficult to decide who should shoulder the majority of the blame for the problems with the film as Ron Howard was brought in to finish the production after there were creative differences with the original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Howard has directed special-effects films (Willow) that had a smooth and solid rhythm to the action sequences. He shows no such control with Solo, as the action scenes go beyond the point from being exciting to redundant.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge as L3-37, Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian.