Will you miss Harrison Ford? Undoubtedly. Will you still enjoy seeing how Han Solo got his start, and survived his first encounter with Chewbacca? Maybe. So say critics who've given Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story a 69% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It's a decent score, but not great. Four takes:
- "Howard stages a number of spectacular set pieces," which makes for "good fun, and all that." But the film's "flawed central performance ultimately makes Solo a distinct disappointment," writes Soren Anderson at the Seattle Times. Whereas Ford's portrayal of arrogance was "engaging," Alden Ehrenreich's constant smirk "turns Han Solo into a guy who is just this side of insufferable," he writes.
- Alan Scherstuhl is of the same opinion. Given that Solo copies a scene from 1980's The Empire Strikes Back, it's only fair to compare the two films, and Solo clearly doesn't measure up, Scherstuhl writes at the Village Voice. It "has a just-finish-the-movie quality to it, an uncertainty about the pacing and seriousness of developments in its own story." Plus, Ehrenreich's performance "is froyo to Harrison Ford's ice cream. Anybody's would be."
- Richard Roeper gives Ehrenreich more credit. He "does a fantastic job at foreshadowing certain characteristics and tendencies of Ford-as-Han, without delving into impersonation," he writes at the Chicago Sun-Times. Still, Donald Glover is better, giving "the show-stopping, effortlessly scene-stealing performance of the movie," which Roeper found "entertaining as hell," though "not particularly deep."
- Though it took some adjusting, Lindsey Bahr welcomed Ehrenreich by the end of what she calls a "largely enjoyable" movie-watching experience. References to future developments provide "some of the most memorable and pleasing moments," along with "at least three epic set-pieces," she writes at the AP, though she wonders whether the film "really added anything of value to the character" of Solo.
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