by Adam M. Wilcox
Oh dear god, first of all stop the “Star Wars Story” sub tags, it’s getting old. Of course I am reviewing Solo: A Star Wars Story because it flopped harder than a catfish in a dry boat.
For the record, I was not part of the big Solo boycott inspired by The Last Jedi fan rage. I just didn’t think this was a good idea for a movie period. I do however find it kind of strange that after years and years of people shitting on the Star Wars Prequels, that Disney/Lucasfilm’s (in name only) grand plan was to spend insane gobs of money and make more prequels?
Rogue One wasn’t terrible. I wasn’t terribly excited about the premise at first, because like I just said…why more prequels? However, I do REALLY like the idea and concept of showing us different characters in different parts of the same universe. While the plot was thin, and the characters are mostly weakly developed, I did enjoy the visuals of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and was happy that it performed well enough to have more of these kinds of movies made. When I first heard about the announcement of a Han Solo prequel, I was immediately disinterested. For one, why more prequels? Secondly, you are going to take a character, and take all of the allure and mystery out of him, and make him seem boring.
Everyone has either seen one of Sergio Leone’s Man With No Name films starring Clint Eastwood, or at least seen a site gag that involves a man wearing a poncho with five o clock shadow, chewing on a cigar, while whistling takes place in the background. If any of those things sound familiar, you will get that reference. What makes his character work is that he is in fact a person that makes money off killing people on wanted posters. Eventually he reluctantly saves a village or a person, making him an anti-hero. His character is based on the famous film “Yojimbo” written and directed by Akira Kurosawa, which also happens to be the same director that influenced George Lucas, and the “Man With No Name, also happens to be the direct influence of Boba Fett. Part of the mystique of “The Man with No Name” is the mystery behind who he really is, or where he came from. It is never explained it is left up to your imagination. The Man with No Name Trilogy is a significant pop culture phenomenon. Now suppose we take the famous “man with no name” and give us a film showing us how he got his famous poncho, his hat, why he chews cigars. Why do that? You are demystifying the character, by removing all of the allure of what makes the character so famous. That’s exactly what Solo is. It is a movie about how Han Solo gets his name, meets Chewbacca, meets Lando, gets his gun, and gets the Millennium Falcon. Even though we already know how it happened…we have to see it I guess.
We see the game where he wins the Falcon, we see the Kessle Run…the film is basically a by the numbers throw away origin script full of references to better films. The film absolutely wastes talent like Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Paul Bettany, and John Favraue, and decides to instead bore us with the likes of Alden Ehrenreich, and Emilia Clark for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Seriously I can tell you the “story” in about five minutes. If you saw the trailers for this movie, you saw absolutely everything exciting there is to see in the movie. The other two hours is boring exposition about how to get to those situations in said trailer images. If they wanted to give us a Han Solo movie, it would have been far more fun to give us another adventure that is separate from the rest of the saga, like another smuggling adventure, or anything but this boring origin story. Lucasfilm however is obsessed with tying everything in to a franchise. Everything MUST be riddled with nostalgia references in order to make nostalgia dollars. Also we get jokes about how Lando may or may not be doinking his robot copilot. Remember Star Wars is a kid’s movie about space wizards and laser swords, yet this movie has neither of those things either. Who is this even for? There is zero suspense in this movie, because you already know that Han, Chewie, and Lando will walk away alive for the future installments. This movie doesn’t even have a proper fucking villain. This is supposed to be Star Wars right?! This movie is like finding out the butler did it first, and then spending two hours and 15 minutes of exposition which is the main problem with prequels in general, and makes me confused as to why so much money is wasted on such stupidity.
This crap was written by Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan. Jonathan’s body of writing work includes writing episodes of Dawson’s Creek, Freaks and Geeks, and that awful 2003 sci-fi horror film Dreamcatcher. The real reason he got the job is that his dad wrote the screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. I am pretty sure that all Lawrence did on THIS script was checking his son’s work for spelling and grammar errors. If you thought that was bad, guess what? Jonathan is also working on the script for Indiana Jones 5. I bet the farm that that one will flop next. I bet Lord and Miller’s version of this movie may have been funny, but we will never know. A large chunk of the movie is very dark and muddy. By dark, I mean that you can barely even see what was going on. It’s like they could not afford to have proper lighting, or maybe somebody forgot to pay the electric bills. And what little we have to work with looks like it was filtered through sawdust and poop. Actual human poop or maybe it was mud. I can’t tell.
The saddest part is this lazy movie is the first Star Wars movie in history that has failed to net any income, and actually lost money. At the end of the day you simply cannot blame any protest or franchise fatigue on the fact that this movie has a bad script, boring acting, poor visuals, and a boring lifeless plot that has the audacity to try and set up a sequel. The payoff is that Han is a pretty good guy after all who decides to help the rebellion which is the EXACT same arc he had in the first Star Wars movie. Oh boy. This is what we actually end the Star Wars franchise on, not a bang, but a whimper. 1 out of 5 cheese curds, with the 1 being that at least this one is not as painful to watch as The Last Jedi, but I guarantee, you will have forgotten most of what happens in this movie about five minutes after you finish watching it. Solo is a boring lifeless origin story that contains neither space wizards, nor laser swords.