Gonger Reviews: Solo: A Star Wars Story
The Gonger saw this Solo...
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clark, Donald Glover, Joonas Suotamo, and Woody Harrelson.
Synopsis: Han Solo escapes poverty, joins the navy, meets his best friend, steals space gas twice, and shoots first!
Soundtrack: Music first? Of course music first! What the Gonger says, goes! Although I think the sound mixing for the score is a bit off in some parts, I do think this is one of the best scores for a Star Wars movie. It falls within the blue print that John Williams set out but John Powell brings the high adventure sound that fits the bill. But of course the sound effects and mixing are top grade! It's a Star War(s), what do you expect? 1.5/2
Cinematography: The wickedly talented Bradford Young crafts another great picture! By bringing the camera down to the players he creates a brilliant depth of field. This flick has a grit to it that is definitely Star Wars but not what we’ve seen before. The lighting has fantastic atmosphere and never did I think any scene was out of place. Well done! 2/2
Writing: We have some good and some bad. Lets start with the bad, again there are some logical issues with this flick but I’m starting to think this is just how a Star Wars is supposed to be written: stupid. Problem is, even the younger audience members are going to catch some of this lazy writing. Having a bit of dialogue that doesn’t make sense but sounds cool is one thing but having an illogical plot point is a problem. Theres a lot of junk writing in this flick too, four false ends comes to be an issue to the run time and they are are also not necessary - even when all of these false ends are pretty good! Alas the flick was just too big for what it is even if what it is is actually great! It's a heist flick in a Star War(s). They have two heists which could have been narrowed down to one really but I liked both at the end of the day so the general plot and story worked well for me. Now the real star is the way the characters are written. The players could have been anyone and they could have done it anyway but ultimately the writing is what solidified the characters for me. Solo is Solo and Lando is Lando. The newcomers are well written, too! Even with their flaws I think this is one of the best written Star Wars in the past twenty years, hands down, and for that it gets a 1.5/2. Funny how if Kasdan writes a Star War(s) it's usually better.
Directing: Ron Howard gets it. In fact, I’d say he gathered up all that makes Star Wars cool (if that's a thing) and weaved a solid flick out of it. This Star War(s) is exactly what a Star War(s) should be. The great thing is Howard is down with innovating while taking orders from the studio. This franchise needed a vet in its corner I think. If to just make a real-ass movie for once. It's not without its flaws but it's solid and I can only attribute that to good directing. I’d see another one of these if Howard stays in the drivers seat for sure! 1.5/2
Acting: So is Ehrenreich better than Ford? Is Glover better than Williams? Actually it doesn’t matter, the players made it there own while keeping it faithful. I will say Glover nails the suave nature of Lando effortlessly. Clark’s Kira gives us a dynamic and genuine character, too, and a welcome change to the way women are portrayed in Star Wars. Not that I think they are portrayed poorly, it's just a new character with ambition! Ehrenreich’s Solo is a funny one for me, the character is written very well so it's hard to mess up. What he does do is create a variable Han Solo that has yet to see the true nature of the galaxy at war. Theres some good character development from all the players and again I wouldn’t mind checking out a sequel just to see what the talent has for us next. 1.5/2
8/10 this flick took a few notes from Star Trek. Just saying...