Solo: A Star Wars Story (PG-13)
Like Rogue One, the other standalone Disney Star Wars film that suffered a famously troubled production, Solo has a just-finish-the-movie quality to it, an uncertainty about the pacing and seriousness of developments in its own story. An early, exhausting heist sequence includes moments of tragedy that get followed too soon by more high adventure and never seem to weigh on the other characters. The look is murky, its compositions undistinguished, and the scenes of action, for the most part, play something like they did in Howard's 2013 Formula One movie Rush, where a yapping British sports announcer -- shades of C3PO! -- had to explain to us every turn of the races. Still, the chief relationships are persuasively sketched, especially between Solo and his wookiee (their meeting is a straight-up highlight) and Solo and his first love, Emilia Clarke's (eventual) femme fatale Qi'ra. The characters sound right, including Donald Glover's Lando Calrissian, but the movie tends to sputter just when it should leap into hyperdrive.
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