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.