5.5/10 Have you ever found yourself as someone who loves the character of Han Solo and is tossing and turning at night unable to sleep because you have for years just been dying to know how he was dubbed with the last name “Solo”? Ya, me neither. Well prepare to get the answer to that question as well as many questions that absolutely no one asked or wanted to know. This movie was made strictly off of brand recognition and to make money. It in no way gives us anything new or drives the overall “Star Wars” story forward as a franchise. Director Ron Howard has certainly made some great movies (“Apollo 13” and “A Beautiful Mind” come to mind) but he has such a bland, generic directorial style, or lack of style I should say. If you had no credits and put on a Quentin Tarantino or Wes Anderson film, you could easily tell who directed the film because they have such unique, inventive style to their films. If you took the credits off of a Ron Howard film, you would have no idea which Joe Schmoe directed the movie. That same “play it safe” lack of style makes this film the most forgettable “Star Wars” film to date. It is certainly not anywhere near the worst but it is the most forgettable. Almost nothing about this movie stands out. What does stand out which I did find extremely well done was the production and costume design. Some of these set pieces really blow your mind and are very fresh and original. The pacing also works well and the film overall is a fun thrill ride. That being said, everything else is a mixed bag, including the cast. Alden Ehrenreich pulls the cocky attitude and smirk off but his voice sounds nothing like Harrison Ford’s voice and he comes off as annoying for a lot of the movie. Donald Glover is well cast and overall does a solid job but I felt like his voice stayed in the same pitch/tone for almost the entire film, which felt a little forced. Thandie Newton, whom is a talented actress is totally wasted in this film and the always reliable Woody Harrelson is solid but the script doesn’t give him too much to work with. The script is very lackluster and has no pop or sizzle to it which means even when a great actor is on screen, the material doesn’t stretch their acting capabilities. I also have to point out that the SJW robot character of L3 joins Rose and Jar Jar Binks as one of the worst “Star Wars” characters ever created and every time she was on screen I couldn’t wait for her to leave. The fact that the actress who voiced her sounds super similar to Captain Phasma made even less sense overall. Jon Favreau’s character was fantastic and I wish he had more screen time. The surprise cameo at the end excited me when I first saw it but then I realized that Disney brought back a dead character with no explanation (the online explanations are all stupid and they should have left him dead) because they couldn’t come up with an original new villain so they had to recycle a popular one. Overall the cast and characters are very mixed. The action scenes like the giant tentacled space monster and the final fight scene with Paul Bettany are very brief and anti-climactic. It doesn’t help that any time Han, Chewbacca and Lando are in danger, we know nothing bad will happen since they are alive in future films. At least for the first time in a “Star Wars” film, they actually give Chewbacca something to do, which was refreshing. Even though Phil Miller and Chris Lord were fired from the film, at least they bring a unique stylistic approach to their films and it would have been fun to see what they would have created with some artistic freedom as opposed to this cookie cutter, vanilla film that we got. Disney can’t decide if it wants to play it safe (J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard) or go to the extreme and piss all over “Star Wars” (Rian Johnson). What I do know is that Disney is slowly but surely ruining the magic that was “Star Wars” and I get less and less excited with each passing film.
#HanJob / #KeepYourExpectationsSolo / #AJediKnightsTale / #HanBeforeChew / #MillenniumFalconPunch / #HanGirl