This morning Variety critic Guy Lodge tweeted that “Alden Ehrenreich‘s best performances top anything Harrison Ford has done.” “Performances”? I was under the impression that Ehrenreich’s only big score was his performance as Hobie Doyle in Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Hail, Caesar! Lodge is probably also alluding to Ehrenreich’s argument-in-the-rain scene in Beautiful Creatures (’13), which nobody saw or cared about.
Ehrenreich is a reedy-voiced, square-faced, pain-in-the-ass type who performs as best he can for the part he’s been hired to play, but he hasn’t a clue about delivering big-screen, laid-back presence and manly charisma, which is Ford’s metier. Ford delivers like a movie star, and that kind of delivery is worth its weight in gold.
Ford may be less emotionally agile or intense than Ehrenreich, but he was mythic during the carbon-freeze scene in The Empire Strikes Back and completely steady and sufficient in Blade Runner, Witness (perhaps his career-best performance), The Mosquito Coast, Working Girl, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and — I’m being serious here — Hollywood Homicide. If Ehrenreich had somehow starred in any of these films, I would’ve hated them and probably walked out.