Every month, author Perry Cononge reviews a movie for the Unbound Legacy blog. Got a movie you'd love to see reviewed? Send us a suggestion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
For the entirety of my life, I have been a rabid Star Wars fan. I grew up in a room surrounded by Star Wars memorabilia, toys, games, posters, clothes, heck, even bed sheets. To this day, it is still my favorite film series ever and while I will admit that the prequels are all not uniformly great, Revenge of the Sith is an underrated masterpiece. I also am not a blind follower of anything Star Wars. I did not like The Last Jedi. I found it to be an uneventful bore, with a terrible script and uneven characterizations of major characters who were portrayed completely different than they had been established as in previous films. So rather tragically, I didn’t really have any real expectations going to see the next chapter in my most beloved franchise. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised by the fun ride I was able to have with this movie. Solo: A Star Wars Story gives us the untold backstory behind the galaxy’s most famous scoundrel, Han Solo. It shows us key moments in his life, such as meeting his comrades Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, finding the Millennium Falcon, and much more. While I and many others believe that this movie is rather unnecessary, I still found lots to enjoy in this sci-fi romp. The action is well choregraphed, with many interesting set pieces and sequences. The costumes feel right at home in the Star Wars world. I am a huge sucker for prosthetics and creature work, so it was cool to see real rubber and plastic costumes and not some cheesy CGI creations. Probably my favorite part about this movie is how much it feels like a Star Wars movie, from the dirty, “lived-in” feel, to the new and intriguing planets and creatures Additionally, John Powell’s score is quite worthy of the Star Wars title, with a few memorable themes sprinkled throughout, as well as unique spins on traditional themes that the hardcore fan will enjoy. While neat ships, and cool planets and aliens are to be expected in the Star Wars movies, ultimately, it’s the characters that the audience is there to see. And to the movie’s credit, the performances on display are solid for the most part. Alden Ehrenreich plays the titular character quite well. While he may not look or sound like Harrison Ford, he manages to mirror a lot of the mannerisms expertly, from stances to smirks, it was nice to see him really make the character of Han Solo his own. For me, the real standout of the film was Donald Glover’s performance as Lando Calrissian. Glover owns every scene he is in and was utterly captivating. He oozes suave charm from every pore, and I loved every bit of his screen time. The robotic character L3-37 was also surprisingly funny and likeable as well, delivering several memorable and hilarious lines. Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, and Paul Bettany all play their respective characters perfectly fine as well, but are ultimately forgettable in the end, especially Bettany’s underutilized villain. I did have a few issues with the film, aside from the lackluster performances from the supporting cast that I already mentioned. For the first twenty minutes, the lighting was so dim, that I had to squint to see anything, which gave me a headache. Additionally, the writing is a little weak in spots, with some seriously cheesy delivery at times. Overall, as a life-long fan of the franchise, I was pleasantly surprised about a movie that I had little to no expectations about going in. While it doesn’t break any new molds, it still delivers plenty of fun action, charming characters, and clever nods to the franchise. Conclusion: I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.
Written by Perry Cononge