FILM REVIEW: SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
BY RALPH LINARDIC
After “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, I was down on “Star Wars” spin-off movies. Not that they can’t be good, but it felt like Disney was just rushing the project (s) to make a quick buck. The main trilogy films are being handled with such care, and I thought I wasn’t ready for another bland piece of storytelling. However, I was incorrect.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” follows Han Solo before the events of the original “Star Wars”. To describe the tone of the film, I would combine “Casino” and “Empire Strikes Back”. I mention the tone, because I’m very happy with how Ron Howard finished the project. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were the original Director’s and seemed to be making a comedy movie with Han Solo. Ron Howard did a great job because he sprinkled in some comedy, while making a solid “Star Wars” film. Fans seem to want all the “Star Wars” spin-offs to feel similar tone wise to the original’s, and while I’m indifferent to that notion, this movie fits that tone.
Alden Ehrenreich, who pays Han Solo in this movie, does a marvelous job, in my opinion. What really impressed me about his performance, was how natural it felt. Alden captured the subtilties of Harrison Ford’s Solo, while making the performance his own. He had the charm, the wit, and the swagger than Han Solo brings. There are several scenes in which Alden’s accent was a bit inconsistent, but that’s my only gripe with his performance.
As a film, it lived up to my standards (they aren’t as high as many Star Wars fans expectations). However, I have one major gripe. Donald Glover’s portrayal of Lando Calrissian was, frankly, a miscasting. Glover’s portrayal felt like he was trying to impersonate Billy Dee William’s version of the character. When a new actor plays a character that has a history, that actor or actress should play their own version of said character. If you impersonate someone else, it’s an impersonation, not acting.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” mostly works as a solid entry in the “Star Wars” franchise. I loved Alden as Han Solo, Ron Howard’s directing, and the score by John Powell and John Williams. Donald Glover as Lando didn’t satisfy me, but aside from that, this is an above average film.