Review - SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY Will Make You Want More Lando Calrissian, But Not Much Else



This is a spoiler-free review. Please read on.

For many weeks now I've been joking with friends, who are also Star Wars fans like me, how the title of SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY should probably be 'Solo: A Star Wars Story, Starring Lando Calrissian.' After coming out of my press screening yesterday afternoon, this joke has become reality as SOLO does in fact shine a spotlight on Lando in a way fans will want more of him. The performance of actor Donald Glover is a big part of this as he was born to play the role of a younger Lando. His line delivery is so spot-on I hope to the Movie Gods, and Disney / Lucasfilm, give Glover his chance to shine once again in his own standalone Star Wars movie.

Since I don't want to get spoiler-y, I'll be vague. Lando's career has changed by the time we meet him in SOLO and Han brings him back into his old career for one more job. By the end, you'll want to know more about Lando's past, and his career he is trying to put behind him, but you don't get any of that. This is why Lucasfilm should set a return to visit more of Lando's past and to continue with Glover in the role. This film is really a sample test on if a Lando movie can be viable, and I think it could be way better than SOLO. Lando steals every single scene he's in and when you're back with Han or Woody Harrelson's Tobias Beckett or Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra all you want is to go back to Lando and see what he's doing.

The problem with SOLO isn't anything too big, it's just a movie that isn't groundbreaking or great just as much as it is a movie that isn't horrible. Without Lando, this is pretty much an unnecessary movie with a story that isn't too compelling.

The action is enjoyable and entertaining as is the look and cinematography of the film. It certainly is a Star Wars looking movie and that alone helps pull you through this story. Speaking of the story, it is a heist movie, but not like one you've seen before because it is three heist movies in one; pretty much one heist for each of the film's three Acts. The pacing of this movie is slow in between the heists and outside of scenes with Lando. In the end, this feels like you just sat through a 4-hour movie, not a 2-hour and 15 minute movie.

Then there's the issue of SOLO and its Easter Eggs, nostalgia, and callbacks which goes from fun fan service to borderline annoyance. (And I'm all for Easter Eggs, nostalgia, and callbacks so it takes a lot of unnecessary ones to get me annoyed.)

Oh... did I forget to talk about the title star Alden Ehrenreich, who plays Han Solo, in this review? Yes... yes, I did and for good reason. He's not terrible, but he's not great. He just doesn't do anything in his performance that makes him standout at all. He easily could have been a new Star Wars character, who is very similar to Han. At moments the way he stands and his body language say Han, but he's nowhere close to being as charismatic as Harrison Ford.

A movie about Han does have some of its best moments with his co-pilot Chewbacca; as the intro of Chewie is fun as are some of his action scenes. Also, many others who have already reviewed this movie has said the new droid L3-37 (performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) will be a fan-favorite, but I disagree. She has one good moment, but she's nowhere near as great as K-2SO (performed by Alan Tudyk) was in ROGUE ONE.

Of course I cannot forget about the Millennium Falcon. It definitely has its moments as it has become its own character in the Star Wars universe. You'll definitely see why it has become the "piece of junk" it is by the time Luke Skywalker calls it as such in STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE.

In SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY nothing too shocking happens, it's borderline excessively annoying with its fan service, the title character isn't the best part of the movie, a supporting character (Lando) will most likely want you seeing him in his own standalone movie more, and it's an origin tale that wasn't needed.  I'd rather watch ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY on repeat if I had a choice between it and SOLO. Although, in my opinion, SOLO is still a bit better than Rian Johnson's STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI — it doesn't take much to be better than that muddled mess of a story — and I'm sure some will debate the latter part of that statement.

Written by Daniel Wolf, Founder & Publisher


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