RATING: 3.5 out of 5
Anyone who initially had a bad feeling about the latest installment to the Star Wars saga can rest easy because “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is not the disaster that everyone thought it would be. Although it doesn’t feel as essential compared to the other recent Star Wars films, it’s still a fun and action-packed movie that’s guaranteed to entertain. The film doesn’t fully demonstrate how Han Solo came to be who is when we first see him in “A New Hope” but it does answer some important questions we’ve had in the Star Wars universe such as “paano ba naiintindihan ni Han Solo yung mga ungol ni Chewbacca?!”
Trying to find his place in the galaxy, a young Han Solo enlists to be a pilot for the Empire. But his penchant for rebelling against authority lands him in an unlikely situation where he has to work with smuggler Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and everyone’s favorite over-sized Shih Tzu, Chewbacca. With the help of Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) and Lando (Donald Glover), they must complete a virtually impossible heist job for syndicate leader Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany).
There was much concern about Alden Ehrenreich taking on the role of the young Han Solo in the months leading up to the film’s release. But the rumors about his less than stellar acting chops turn out to be completely overblown and Ehrenreich actually does a pretty decent job as Han Solo. He starts off a bit awkward in the beginning but he eventually grows on you. You just have to get used to the idea of a different actor playing the legendary character.
There’s a reason why Harrison Ford is the pop culture icon that he is. He has that effortless charm and quiet intensity that not all leading men are lucky to have. Out of all the actors from the original Star Wars trilogy, he’s the one who found the most success and that’s no coincidence. If you’re playing a young Han Solo, it’s almost impossible to live up to that same kind of expectation. Isipin mo kung ikaw yung sumunod na boyfriend ni Pia Wurtzbach. Kahit naka-jackpot ka na wala kang magagawa kung ang sinasabi ng mga tao ay mas maganda parin ang panga ni Marlon Stockinger kesa sayo dahil mukha siyang Ken doll na nabuhay.
Alden Ehrenreich unfortunately is in the same boat. He’s no Harrison Ford and for most people the battle was already lost even before it actually began. But I thought he was able to pull off the “charming’ part pretty well and was able to emulate some of the character’s mannerisms and nuances which is no small feat. And he didn’t get sucked into the trap of just impersonating the actor that came before him. He added new dimensions to the character as well. I wouldn’t mind seeing him developing the character further if the rumor of potential sequels turn out to be true.
As for Donald Glover, he does a fantastic job as Lando Calrissian and you could actually argue that he does the role even better than Billy Dee Williams did. Not only is he suave and smooth, he can effectively do dramatic scenes when the situation calls for it as well.
(There was a bit of controversy regarding Lando Calrissian when the writers of the movie admitted that the character was pansexual and would literally have sex with anyone or anything in the galaxy. Pero di ko gets anong masama dun. Seryoso lang, sa mundo ng Star Wars tingin mo walang stormtrooper na natuturn-on pag nakikita si C3PO? Walang Wookie na tumingin ng malagkit kay Yoda? Si Jabba the Hutt nga na hindi mo makitaan ng ari pinag-bikini si Leia e!)
Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke are serviceable in their roles but they don’t really do anything memorable. I don’t think they’ll go down as legendary characters in the franchise. Kung magkaron ng “Beckett: A Star Wars Story” sometime in the future kalokohan na yan at magsasagawa ako ng maliit na rally sa labas ng sinehan.
(If we’re doing origin stand-alone films in the Star Wars universe, parang gusto kong magkaron ng “Chewbacca: A Star Wars Story”. Being already 190 years old, I’m sure there’s so much shit he’s been through to make the story interesting. Hindi ko nga lang alam kung kaya nating tumagal ng 2 oras na umuunggol lang si Chewbacca at mga kamag-anak niyang Wookie habang nagsasabunutan.)
However despite the great action sequences, the movie simply doesn’t blow you away as much as the recent “Star Wars” movies did. Sure, it’s nice to know a bit more about Han Solo like he met Lando Calrissian and how he came to possess the Millenium Falcon. But the movie doesn’t really go deeper than that. Walang bagong insight kang mapupulot tungkol sa pagkatao ni Han Solo dito kung yun ang hinahanap mo.
A great origin story for me of a legendary character is “Casino Royale” with Daniel Craig. In the movie, kita natin kung anong mga events ang kailangang mangyari para mag arrive tayo dun sa character ni James Bond na kilala natin as suave, distrustful, and chauvinistic. We see how the character evolves. By the end of the movie, we have a better understanding of the character. That’s something that would have been great for a Han Solo film if they were able to achieve something similar. In the mean time, we will have to make do with a movie that merely tells us how Han met Chewie.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY is now showing in cinemas
All photos courtesy of LucasFilms