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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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“Solo”: a decent movie with an unconvincing lead

Solo+Review
Photo by Graphic by Nic Tan
Solo Review

The long anticipated film, “Solo,” has characters that should jump off the screen. Han Solo, Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca are some of the most recognizable and iconic characters from one of the most recognizable and iconic film franchises in history.
While “Solo’s” story is strong and Donald Glover does an absolutely phenomenal job as Lando, Alden Ehrenreich simply fails to deliver a convincing performance as Han, falling woefully short of the casual charm and endearing arrogance fans have come to expect from the character.
Harrison Ford’s shoes proved too big to fill for Ehrenreich, and while he doesn’t perform badly, per se, it’s just difficult to accept him as Han. Throughout the film, I kept having to remind myself that the man on the screen was supposed to be Han Solo and not some other character in the same universe. The way Ehrenreich delivers his lines just doesn’t reconcile with Ford’s portrayal of the character.
That’s not to say “Solo” is a bad film. It isn’t. Overall, Ehrenreich was my only major complaint. Without spoiling anything, we finally got to see Han and Chewie meet for the first time, Han and Lando meet for the first time and the Millennium Falcon’s notorious Kessel Run. While I thought some things (like the Kessel Run) were better left as myth, there’s no denying they handled the story and all its momentous events with grace. The film did greatly develop Han as a character and helped shed some light on a few of the events that turned Han into the cynical, reluctant hero we see in “A New Hope.” The story turned what could’ve been a bad movie with a poor lead into a pretty good movie with a poor lead.
Visually, the film was striking. It captured the essence of the Star Wars universe nicely, and I found the various ships and speeders to be very true to form. A few scenes on a mountainous snow planet were especially beautiful. And although Ehrenreich failed at acting like Han, he did at least look the part.
Another strong point of the film was its supporting cast. Glover was incredible as Lando, and he proved to be the perfect casting choice to match Billy Dee Williams’ original portrayal. Woody Harrelson also played his major role very well, alongside yet another strong performance from Emilia Clarke. Although he didn’t get much screen time, Paul Bettany played a fairly decent alien crime boss (even though I couldn’t stop seeing him as the Marvel character, Vision). Honorable mention goes to Joonas Suotamo, who, with the aid of the sound effects department, gurgled and growled his way into my heart as Chewbacca. It’s sad to think Han Solo could be the weakest major character in his own movie, but Ehrenreich’s performance really is the weakest part of the film.
Overall, “Solo” is a pretty good movie. It has a strong story, plenty of character development and shows fans at least three iconic Star Wars moments for the first time on the big screen. Ford’s Han proves too tough a challenge for Ehrenreich to handle, and I was taken out of the experience considerably by his inability to become the character. However, the supporting cast members all deliver good, if not great, performances, and I’d say that’s reason enough to go see “Solo.”

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