“Solo: A Star Wars Story”
RELEASE DATE: May 25, 2018
MPAA RATING: PG-13 (for sequences of sci-fi action/violence)
Even if the challenges of bringing this story to the screen were not well known, the resulting film clearly indicates there has been a disturbance in the force.
At various points, three directors were attached to “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” including the team of Chris Miller and Phil Lord who were jettisoned into hyperspace, making way for Ron Howard, who is given the final credit as director (although it’s unlikely to be considered by fans to be among his finest achievements).
Alden Ehrenreich has the unenviable responsibility of portraying the iconic character of Han Solo. His performance is just okay, and this perception is certainly impacted by our knowledge of the Han so indelibly linked to its originator, Harrison Ford.
Donald Glover succeeds a bit more in his role as a young Lando Calrissian, channeling his inner Billy Dee Williams to about level eight on the charm meter.
This film clues us in a bit more on how Han received his surname (albeit through very forced dialogue that is regrettably an approach common throughout the screenplay written by the father-son team of Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan — yes, two writers, and three directors; what could possibly go wrong?); and how Han gained possession of the Millennium Falcon.
This journey to a galaxy far, far away is a hot mess. The only bright spot for me in watching this movie was experiencing how Han came to meet his future co-pilot, Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), but for the most part it was a yawn fest filled with phoned-in performances from the likes of Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke.
Disney plans to release various Star Wars stories to ensure that the film franchise touches audiences each year. If subsequent installments are of the caliber of “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” I’d be fine with being deprived a few years until the main galactic saga continues.