After 41 years of waiting we have our Han Solo movie. The special Edition release of Attack of the Clones is about as good. It’s not as good as Revenge of the Sith. In the Disney Sci-Fi universe it’s not as good as Black Panther or any Captain America Movie. It’s not as good as Rogue 1. It’s not as charming as Ant-Man. Thor : Ragnorak is considerably better. Star Trek Beyond is also considerably better.
The Rotten Tomatoes score of about 70% is probably too high and likely falls. Metacritic from IMDB has it at just over 60%. Split the difference. That probably wont hold either.
The movie is not as bad as Last Jedi. Han is not cast well but mostly the script is simply bad. There may have been nothing more Ron Howard could have done. It’s on the Kasdan’s. The director came close here and there but they couldn’t save this movie. There’s not one moment of Pure WIN in this movie.
Here’s some of the issues
Bad Casting is in the mix.
Weird new Han and Lando aren’t that offensive, so you’d figure the movies got a shot. Quite the reverse. There’s very little in the way of actual story. Through flukes and pure coincidence one badly laid plan after another somehow works out til the movies over. The n they throw in Darth Maul like a grenade to try to save the ending in a Marvel-esque easter egg.
It seems the casting people just pilfered the Marvel actors like Vision/ Paul Bettany as bad guy Dryden Vos. He’s a lazily created alien who is essentially human. John Favreau gets his voice in to the movie. Everything looks a lot like the Avengers world. This is also true for the starship design and most of the CGI aliens. Lazy and quick and worst of all – familiar and boring. We’re talking Hellboy and the Golden Army or the aliens from Avengers 1 scattered through the universe. At times its too close to Marvel.
In an awful up front fail we meet the feared gangster Lady Proxima, who is basically Audrey 2 and a millipedes lovechild. Its not compelling. To complete the sort of lazy fails we see in this movie the voice is simply Linda Hunt, from one of the NCIS shows. Okay, she’s a great actress with an Academy Award but perhaps an interesting unknown may have been better? It doesn’t kill it, but it’s unsettling. It stops the movie dead for a half a second. There’s just a few too many fails like this sprinkled in for you to really develop a lot of goodwill for moments where the movie needs you to be generous. Your left to wonder how a stupid scheming plant- that is averse to light but stays in a room with a fragile and low glass ceiling merely painted black. Han undoes his life of bondage by breaking a window with a rock – something no one thought of before i guess. With that he’s a free Han and heads to the spaceport with his girlfriend to leave lousy Corellia for good. That’s where the movie falls apart. After this its just pure chance driving the plot. People are reunited through pure chance and by chance the bad guys make a million dumb moves. Coincidence and convenience piles up and this movie just never becomes immersive enough to entertain. The more you know about Han Solo and Chewbacca the less you will like this movie. It’s that bad.
the now standard poorly programmed android is an annoying disaster that Lando apparently has sex with. This movie really messes with Star Wars previously established droid behaviors. They now have full self awareness and full personalities. They hate doing the tasks human design them for. It’s a bit incoherent what they’re trying to say with Motivational Speaker Droid L3- Lando’s love interest.
Love Interest “Q’ra”(kira) cant act through the mediocre script and has no chemistry with Han. The character isn’t appealing. She feels very Marvel. Her costumes were uninteresting and we never learn too much about her beyond “very early Han Solo girlfriend apparently from the same planet” even after the movie ends. It’s about as much as we’ve found out about Han. The movie is depending on what you already know to get by.
Woody Harrelson just can’t do anything with his poorly conceived character Beckett. This movie starts to feel contrived every time Woody speaks a word. We’ve seen Harrison Ford’s character foreshadowed better by other actors in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which is where they sort of took the Beckett character from. He’s essentially coopted from the older unprincipled Archaeologist who gives him his first fedora. They really blur the line between Indy and Han personality-wise to make this work too. This movie cannibalizes a lot.
The movie is actually kind of okay for about a 10 minutes because the Imperial Navy seems interesting – but we dont give Han Storm Trooper armor or see him as a pilot and we short cut right to just running into Chewie in a really contrived way.
The service to the Empire had more possibilities but we are done with it as fast as we can manage. I was really starting to enjoy it. He came off like Han Solo but then we quickly move on to his post Imperial career – just as we’re starting to invest in the idea he’s going to serve the Empire for most of this movie. Sadly we move on and things get sort of lazy story-wise. If the movie had been his Imperial career maybe it’s better. It had a ‘Kelly’s Heroes’ kind of potential.
They also just had no creative planets to show us. For instance – Corellia was exactly like Coruscant.
Its not the actor, he’s probably fine. I think its the concept of the new fully CGI enhanced Chewie. He sometimes looks like an Effect- especially when I mistakenly saw this in 3-D. Not as bad as Jar Jar Binks, but bad. He’s very, very CGI too often. It not what kills the movie, but as the movie slows down you start to notice more and more.
However the initial meeting between the two might be the best character interaction of the movie. The natural light in the scene is low and hides the CGI fails for a while.
They gave us a really bad take on Han Solo. In ‘Solo’ we get Unfrozen Giddy and dumb Han Solo but dumber and with bad taste in women. Essentially every new trait we tolerated added to the character in Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens is on display most of the time. A dash more cynicism would have been just fine. Its like getting frozen made him revert to his younger self. This Solo is not interesting, I knew he would survive the movie and I didn’t care.
After about 40 minutes the movie runs out of ideas and gets pretty slow. We endure a Han and Chewie shower scene. We learn very little during the slow part of the movie and performances seem flat. Then the nitrous injector goes back on and the pace cranks back up.
Every increment of 10 minutes that goes by you feel the movie losing momentum. It’s probably too long. The very fast pace is too breakneck for too long. Moving fast, not spending time with the right set of foes. It’s just hectic.
Ron Howard does capture a Lucas feel hear ad there but the script just isn’t enjoyable. Howard does as much as a non writing director could do. It does feel the Avengers more than Star Wars a lot of the time. I really feel the script wasn’t that great.
We mostly meet poorly explained and convenient transplants from other franchises. There’s road warrior elements too in one rival criminal clan. They’re transplanted straight off Fury Road. They’re led by a child who we see again as faction leader in another role in the MCU- shes Bad Girl Karli from Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Disney seems to love this actress. I don’t get it.
The concept art was not reassuring but they overcame it and made a couple of good trailers for this ho-hum movie. Sadly the Avengers are now the dominant Disney Sci-Fi franchise so we have the same creatures and effects.
At this point an alien is too easy to create. A few scars or a helmet and some breathing issues and they’re ready to go.
Anyone who says this movie is good is suffering from a combination Stockholm Syndrome and the Mandela Effect.
Who doesn’t remember the highly superstitious Han Solo’s signature small brass dice-like charm on a keychain?
Me either. Its a charm on the controls of the Falcon we see for a moment in The Last Jedi and yes, they’re probably going to find a way to CGI it into the other movies. I mean maybe we see them in Force Awakens but really it’s this new cannon and its a square peg in a round hole again. Han Solo is not superstitious as much as instinctual. It’s a new incongruous dimension to the character i sort of tried to ignore. Then I realize these Dice are supposedly a through-line in the Disney Star Wars movies and we saw them in The Last Jedi….looking somewhat different and gifted to someone who has no association with them before they mercifully disappear. All Disney Star Wars movies except Rogue One are affected by this fail and don’ line up because of this.
It was forced and cheap. Im sure the charm is available for around 40 bucks from the Disney Store(probably deeply discounted now) . Thats the only reason its in the movies – and they botched it
UPDATE- Is the Mandela Effect Attempt legitimate or is it merely well researched? Its left over research from OTHER movies at this point (likely Last Jedi). To be fair, there IS a similar, but really anomalous object hanging in the Falcon cockpit in A New Hope. The chain is much longer on this charm (or stray wire). You can see it momentarily right as they fire up the Falcon and split Tattooine. Seems more silver than brass. It’s not where it should be when we get more looks inside the Falcon’s cockpit again later. I may be experiencing a Mandela Effect.
Its hard to say, but I am re-watching the original movies with an eye towards it so I will update if needed.
Will 3-D Help?
NO. Not at all, it just adds to the amount of money you’ll be out after seeing it.
As much as I regret NOT seeing Blade Runner 2049 in 3 D is as much as I regretted seeing this one that way. It doesn’t add anything.
MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE 2 Reunion
At least they keep the love interest (Thandie Newton) and the Bad Guy (Paul Bettany) from Mission:IMPOSSIBLE 2 out of the same scenes.
The score is better than Last Jedi and is actually good most of the time
An Uninspired script is the worst part of this movie but theres more stuff in there that fails to amuse.
All Non Lucas spaceships and aliens are under-thought and simple. Its just not Alien to the eye. Its bland and under-thought most of the time. The pure CGI creations are boring and box like. So we have the Falcon and its all great when we mix it up with some TIE fighters, but the movie can’t live with prosperity and just ditches that moment pretty fast.
I’ve already described the way we just create aliens with some colored make up and a bizarre suit of clothing now. (or pure CGI). The Paul Bettany alien (is he an alien?) is just very simple and bad, but I guess as his other Disney job is Vision of the Avengers he just wasn’t going to do another role where hes completely unrecognizable. You can understand why. He should just been human. Total costume fail.
Just WHERE THE HELL are we at the end? The timeline is confusing. Han’s still really young. I left confused. Reading some explanations, the thought Han Solo is supposed to be 16 at start of movie is just silly. This movie is just cast bad if they thought this guy looked 16. I was checking my phone and tweeting out warnings (@CaptainTeag) to not see this mess when the easter egg shows up like a hand grenade to confuse and disorient me. It just annoyed and confused me DESPITE Clone Wars. This idea is not good enough to be used outside an animated show.
Walking out someone cheered my rebel alliance t shirt and i instinctively said “It sucked.” and tossed my 3-D glasses into the recycling bin. It wasn’t a bad trip to an American Movie Theater in the 21st century. At least no one had shot me.
I wish I had saved the extra few bucks on 3-D. Its maybe worth 12-15 bucks to see. Not 20. Its not as good as Rogue 1. We now have some Star Wars movies that are just mediocre or even a bit bad. This is one of them. Phantom Menace is a lot better.
If you truly LOVE Star Wars youre going to think “They DID save this, its 51% good” I dont buy it. Its not the best Sci-Fi movie of the year and maybe, depending on your view of Deadpool 2, not the best Sci-Fi movie in theaters at this time.