The film Solo, plagued by behind-the-scenes turmoil, ultimately fulfills its duty as a placeholder in the Star Wars franchise, but it fails to deliver any surprises. The seams used to fix the production issues are clearly visible, resulting in a disjointed narrative that moves from one event to the next without much coherence. Even the opening scenes on Correllia feel repetitive, introducing characters only to discard them quickly. Alden Ehrenreich does his best to fill Harrison Ford’s shoes as Han Solo, but it takes some time to warm up to him, and even then, it’s hard to imagine him evolving into Ford’s iconic character.
The film Solo suffers from a common problem associated with prequels – the need to create the appropriate legend we’ve all seen in the original trilogy. Unfortunately, the questions posed in this film are ones that no one particularly demanded answers to. Does the audience really need to know why his last name is Solo? Can’t his parents just have been Mr. and Mrs. Solo? Apparently not. Ever wonder where Han got his furry dice? Don’t worry, it’s explained here.
The rest of the film also explores in excruciating detail everything we already know about Han Solo, from his first meeting with Chewie to his acquisition of the Millennium Falcon. Even how his first name is pronounced is given attention. While Alden Ehrenreich has charisma in his other features, here he’s teetering on the edge of being both charismatic and anesthetized. He’s not trying to channel Harrison Ford, but it’s hard to feel like he’s trying to do much of anything. He smiles a lot and tries to jump into the fray with a laser blast here and there, but there just isn’t much for him to do. While the movie may have his name, like the other characters, he’s simply moved from location to location.
The heists and characters encountered throughout the film are underwhelming, with the exception of Donald Glover’s scene-stealing portrayal of Lando Calrissian, who deserves his own film. Woody Harrelson fails to add much spark, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s portrayal of Lando’s partner robot is cringeworthy. While the film might satisfy die-hard fans with some answers to questions about Han’s past, it ultimately fails to deliver a magical, adventurous experience. As Disney’s fourth Star Wars film, Solo suffers from franchise fatigue, leaving audiences feeling underwhelmed.
“Blade Runner 2049” is a science fiction masterpiece that follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic “Blade Runner.” Denis Villeneuve directs this film with a steady hand, and he brings an evocative vision to the screen that harkens back to Scott’s original work. While it may not have been a financial success at the box office, “2049” is a cinematic gem that will undoubtedly be reevaluated by audiences over time.
Ryan Gosling stars as K, a Blade Runner tasked with hunting down rogue replicants in a dystopian Los Angeles. Gosling’s subtle and nuanced performance is perfectly suited to his character’s emotional journey. K’s discovery of a child born from replicants sets in motion a series of events that lead him on a path of self-discovery and realisation.
The film is visually stunning, thanks to the masterful work of cinematographer Roger Deakins and production designer Dennis Gassner. The world of “2049” is a dark and foreboding place, but it is also one of great beauty and wonder. Deakins elegantly captures this world, creating a moody and immersive experience for the audience.
“2049” asks the same timeless question as its predecessor: what does it mean to be human? This theme runs through the film, and it is explored with a depth and complexity that is rarely seen in science fiction. The film’s deliberate pace and methodically structured narrative may not be to everyone’s taste, but those who give themselves over to the film’s world and themes will be rewarded with a truly exceptional cinematic experience.
In the end, “Blade Runner 2049” is a triumph of science fiction filmmaking. It takes risks, has visual ingenuity, and offers a thought-provoking exploration of the human condition. Just like the original “Blade Runner,” it may take time for audiences to fully appreciate the film’s brilliance. But there is no doubt that “2049” is a worthy successor to one of the greatest science fiction films of all time.
In which Martyn and Pete are joined by critically aclaimed author and podcaster, Barry Nugent.
Barry is an English writer, who is best known for creating the Unseen Shadows universe. As well as his new book, trail of the cursed cobras. He also co-hosts the popular podcast, Geek Syndicate.
Martyn, Pete and Barry discuss their love for the Indiana Jones franchise. Spoilers are contained within the episode, obviously.
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Barry can also be seen in the BBC’s My life in science fiction series.