HOLLYWOOD—Sometimes there are those flicks that are so grand with expectation that they crash and burn so big it leaves you asking just how in the world did that transpire? I knew there was trouble for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” when the film switched directors mid-way through shooting. That is never a good sign in the cinematic universe. If the set is in utter chaos, you can bet the script is likely encountering similar issues. When a director like Ron Howard who has directed Oscar-winning flicks like “Apollo 13” and “A Beautiful Mind” can’t save a movie you know trouble is brewing.
One thing I want to point out, I don’t think casting is the issue with why “Solo” underperformed at the box-office. In addition, let me be clear box-office receipts mean absolutely nothing to me. However, in this situation because the flick cost over $250 million to produce, and it looks like it won’t recoup that budget that is an issue of concern. Alden Ehrenreich is perfect casting for the role of Han Solo, a character made famous by Harrison Ford. The actor brings an edge and a youthful charisma to this iconic character who many know from the “Star Wars” universe.
Considering this is a stand-alone film, you might be asking do you need to see any of the previous “Star Wars” flicks to understand what is transpiring in this movie. The answer to that question is difficult, but to be honest, no, but I would tread lightly because knowing about the character does help the situation in my personal opinion. Especially considering that I’m not a “Star Wars” fanatic.
Ehrenreich has great chemistry with Donald Glover who portrays Lando Calrissian, a character made famous by Billy Dee Williams. The issue is that Glover and Ehrenreich alone cannot save this movie. So here is a warning: just because a franchise is a massive hit, does not equate that every single person in that franchise is deserving of their own flick. This is a trend that has become all too common in Hollywood and it needs to stop sooner than later. You have to understand that just because the iron is hot, does not mean you have to continue putting out material just hoping the audience will take a large bite out of it.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” doesn’t suffer from acting talent because Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke Thandie Newton and Paul Bettany are all part of the cast. The narrative quite frankly is a jumbled mess that follows Han on his mission to deliver a package of coaxium, a rare, but powerful fuel to travel throughout space. It’s something everyone wants to get their hands on, and the film’s attempt to utilize this ‘thing’ as the catalyst for all the action that takes place in the movie is a dud.
The villain in this franchise Dryden Vos is portrayed by Bettany, who isn’t as convincing as the big bad. I mean when you have a riveting character like Kylo Ren in the recent “Star Wars” flicks, you expect Dyden Vos to be just as captivating, but that ain’t so. As a viewer it is very difficult to find yourself enthralled by the drama that is taking place in this movie. There is no excitement, there is no originality, it is not captivating and the pacing is very slow. You will not only look at your watch several times watching the movie, you will hope the flick ends much sooner to put yourself out of this misery. It’s unfortunate, but “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is a miss, and one that you should wait to arrive on TV.