Alden Ehrenreich disney Donald Glover Emilia Clarke Entertainment Joonas Suotamo Lucasfilm Paul Bettany Phoebe Waller-Bridge ron howard Solo: A Star Wars Story Technology Thandie Newton Woody Harrelson

The teams thoughts on Solo: A Stars Story

The teams thoughts on Solo: A Stars Story
 

With a bunch of Star Wars fans one of our authors, it was inevitable that people weren’t going to let Kervyn have all the fun with the most recent Star Wars film. But are we in agreement with Kervyn’s evaluation of the film and its portrayal of our cherished Han Solo or do we have a few reservations of our own? Let us have a look and find out.

Craig

If there were any doubts you couldn’t create a Star Wars movie without Jedi and their distance magical, then Solo: A Star Wars Story is the film that puts them to bed. Much like Rogue One before it, from the very beginning Solo breaks with the traditional storytelling mechanics that have become synonymous with the Star Wars universe and draws from multiple genres to tread its own path.

War films, heist capers, and other tastes are all here, but there is one more notable influence. Star Wars films have always felt like large space westerns in theory and while some of those films have worn this influence stronger than many others, this movie is dripping inside. It honestly feels like the closest that the franchise has come to genuinely attain that magic.

And it is not only the geographical preferences, the exciting tone, or the finely setup lively action set pieces — including train robberies and pub stand-offs — which makes it feel this way, but the essence of the story and its characters. Westerns have always been around beating morals, where you sometimes need to root for the bad guy or see that huge bank robbery pulled off. Those beats can all be seen in Solo, and during the movie’s many plot twists, you find your allegiances with various characters constantly changing.

If you are not a huge fan of westerns however there should be no need to worry. Despite the fact that its genre influences are evident, Solo still has a different Star Wars texture and loads of fun and amusing moments infused to make it appeal to pretty much everybody.

The big concern I guess for many people when this movie was first announced was if celebrity Alden Ehrenreich could fulfill the unbelievable Harrison Ford’s shoot on the personality. That too is another fear that this movement can lay to rest because while he may not be as charismatic as Ford, he certainly gives it an superb shot and how he pulls off the numerous mannerisms of the character is remarkable. It may be two entirely different actors from another age, but it still feels very similar to the exact same Han Solo we have grown to love.

As much as this movie is certainly focused on Ehrenreich’ Solo and his loyal counterpart Chewbacca, another new characters are rich in character on their own with Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett and Emilia Clarke’ Qi’Ra possibly the most notable among them. Much like Ehrenreich has had to act in the shadow of Ford, so too has Donald Glover needed to behave in the shadow of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian and even though he possibly diverges in the character a little more here, he matches a lot of the same spirit we would expect of a younger Lando. Maybe the biggest scene stealer though is Phoebe Waller-Bridge as L3-37, Lando’s droid companion that carries the majority of the film’s witty dialogue and possibly brings in a brand new political perspective to a number of the action also.

But, Solo is certainly not without its flaws, perhaps the greatest being that it’s only trying so difficult to set up everything about the character that it does rob some of the mystery and unpredictability that made Han Solo so enjoyable in the first location. And yes, while it’s wonderful to finally get to see that mythical Kessel run pulled off, I am not sure we had to know every detail about why Solo is that he is. Luckily, this is a minor gripe in an otherwise excellent movie.

Solo: A Star Wars story may have gone through a good amount of production problems when first director Phil Lords and Chris Miller were fired when a lot of the movie was shot, but director Ron Howard reveals the professional he is by making the movie feel cohesive. It’s apparent that he definitely re-shot the majority of the scenes since it wears his influence throughout. However credit should also be given to authors, Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jonathan, whose excellent script offers an entertaining and engaging narrative whilst ensuring the movie fits into the larger Star Wars story and remains consistent to the characters and world everybody already knows.

For me, Star Wars is a franchise that just never seems to disappoint and even though Disney has taken to creating these movies far too often, it is still delivering and makes you want to go back in the cinema and watch it all over again. I might not have desired a Han Solo source picture, but now that I have seen one, I would not mind getting to know a few other characters a little better as well if this is exactly what its’ going to look like.

Rating: 8/10

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Nick

Tracy

I wanted to enjoy Solo: A Star Wars story more than I did. There are several fun action beats which had me on the edge of my chair, for the most part, they made up to the totally ordinary storyline. The lacklustre story is similarly bolstered by some excellent performances, particularly from Paul Bettany as the moustache-twirlingly villainous Dryden Vos and Donald Glover as an even better version of Lando Calrissian than I could ever have hoped for.

Regrettably, the female characters are criminally underutilised, which is par for the course for Star Wars at this stage. No use in getting your hopes up that the female characters will share any kind of meaningful interaction, never mind real screen-time. But, to be honest, the main character is, of course, the titular Han Solo. Alden Ehrenreich had some huge shoes to fill, and for me, he did not quite hit the mark. His effort at Harrison Ford-esque swagger came across as cockier than anything else, inducing the easy-going charm that Ford brought to the position. When the main character does not meet the hype, it gets the sad sidelining of the other characters much more frustrating.

What I find most wearying is the new need to over-explain every aspect of the Star Wars universe. We saw this a lot in Rogue One, and in this tie-in experience, it is even more pronounced. At this time, these standalone excursions are merely pieces of lore and intellectual property feebly, and unconvincingly, rearranged to a movie. We don’t require an explanation of what but Disney is making damn sure we are going to get you.

Right now, I am struggling with Star Wars fatigue. There is no longer hype about these films, no longer wonder and excitement. Only a vague sense of lassitude. The best I can say about Solo is that it was fine. Just… fine. It’s a string of set-pieces and action scenes interspersed with loads of backstory, and in the end of the day, nothing of real consequence occurs. You know it can not.

Score: 6/10

Noelle

For me, as a Star Wars film, Solo is, well, just okay. Which means by Star Wars standards it is one of the poorer franchise entries. Solo is still very much watchable — elevated by its high-stakes, race-against-time action scenes, and a movie-stealing, high-quirk Donald Glover — but things feel more perfunctory than exhilarating for the most part.

In actuality, Solo does not really permit you to feel anything, as it’s so occupied over-explaining everything about the title character, from the source of his title to why he wished to be a pilot to the way he fulfilled Chewy, got his signature pistol and ended up captaining the Millennium Falcon. Etc, etc.. It’s unnecessary and frequently clunky. However, this exposition is the focus of the film, and Solo clearly suffers in different aspects for this. Supporting characters with loads of potential are generally bundled off the display in moments, squandering the acting capacity bringing them to life. And considering how well the foundation movie series has been performing with representation, Solo is a true disappointment concerning the handling of its female characters. It seems like a step back.

Solo has its moments (including a nifty little Willow-esque scene early on), and is well-acted all around (a particular nod to Woody Harrelson), but it suffers from a feeling of lost potential, and a weirdly muddled tone as it veers between Rogue One and Spaceballs. Essentially, it’s a Star Wars film for you if you ever wanted to see a Space Cthulhu, SJW Droid and Millennium Falcon put through some Fast and the Furious drifting moves. Solo was an unnecessary endeavor to start with, and ended up fun however substanceless.

Score: 6.5/10

Last Updated: May 25, 2018

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About the author

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Sukhdev Singh is a Business management graduate, with superb managerial skills and leadership abilities. He always has an approach of “leading from the front” which keeps us all motivated and inspires us to work more efficiently. He has an incredible amount of experience in the blockchain field as he has worked with a Crypto start-up based on blockchain. His cheerful personality always lifts our spirits and always makes sure that the work at VerifiedTasks is top-notch.
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