Solo: A Star Wars Story
Directed by Ron Howard
A lovable scoundrel gets his own spin-off.
Did we really need a movie about Han Solo’s origins? asked Sam Adams in Slate.com. The “mildly infuriating” new Star Wars prequel might be likable enough if it exhibited any mission beyond cashing in on the brand name and setting up future sequels. But all it really does is turn back the clock on Solo to answer questions you probably don’t have about how the smooth-talking smuggler got his name, met Chewbacca, and won his starship in a card game. Though Ron Howard is credited as the director, “the movie feels like it was directed by no one, so devoid is it of personality or purpose.” Solo is at least a new story, and the cast “consistently elevates the material,” said Christopher Orr in TheAtlantic.com. Alden Ehrenreich makes a charismatic Han, wisely not trying to impersonate Harrison Ford, while Emilia Clarke, playing Han’s old flame, “does her best work outside of Game of Thrones.” Even so, Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian is “easily the best thing in this good-not-great movie,” said Chris Nashawaty in Entertainment Weekly. “More than any big action set piece or narrative double cross, it’s Glover’s mack-daddy swagger as the rakish gambler that will be the thing you’ll be buzzing about after the lights come up.” ■