What I'm Watching: Solo

Sigh. I wasn't going to watch any more of these Disney "Star Wars", but I'm a completionist and a glutton for punishment and terrible movies.

The special effects are fine, the sets are great, the 5-act plot of train job-failure-heist-Kessel Run-treachery is predictable and badly written, but it's no worse than usual for Disney.

The soundtrack is a lame ripoff of John Williams' score. Long stretches are too quiet, a few spots are very heavy-handed covers of the Force Theme or other parts of larger songs. I guess I don't expect John to still compose at his age, but this was ham-fisted.

The incompetent schmaltzy Ron Howard direction and the terrible acting are the main problems. Everyone involved in this should've been fired and started over.

Alden Ehrenreich is not a pretty boy, and he's a blank, emotionless drone, a terrible Harrison Ford replacement. His Han Solo is brash but never fun.

Emilia Clarke as Qi'ra is sort of Leia-like in looks, but she does nothing really, has little spine, mostly there to threaten to motivate Han. She has a position and combat skills, but they're used only when nobody else is available.

Woody fucking Harrelson as Beckett. What the hell. Just a terribly out of place character, Woody's never really been an actor, the script asks nothing of him and he delivers it.

Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca since Last Jedi is… OK. Chewie has a couple scenes where body language matters and plays the part well. Certainly the best dialogue in the film.

Donald Glover as Lando is as relentlessly mediocre at this as he is at everything else he does. He plays a vapid, cape-obsessed, loathesome, un-lovable un-rogue version of Lando.

The rest, Val, Rio, the crime lord, Enfys Nest, and so on, have no depth or plot arc to even make their characters matter.

You already know all the beats this has to hit to put every Han Solo backstory element in a single movie, a few days of his life. Then he sits around in a Tatooine bar for 20 years waiting for Luke and the old man to show up.

★☆☆☆☆

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