Solo: A Star Wars Story is a space Western film based on the Star Wars character, Han Solo. It is directed by Ron Howard and stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany.
The Story/The Direction:
The film takes place ten years prior to the events of A New Hope and shows an early adventure of Han Solo (Ehrenreich) and Chewbacca (Suotamo) where they are involved in a heist in the galactic criminal underworld where they meet a young Lando Calrissian (Glover). Given this film's production drama with the directors being fired four months into production with Howard coming on to film seventy percent of the film, it's honestly surprising on how well the film looks and how cohesive the story is.
Howard does another decent job on the production side of the things and the music works well. Another strength of the film is how it deals with the slave labor of both humans and robots. While this has existed before in the films, this is the first time that the universe that states that it is a bad thing. In addition, it is the only film in the lengthy franchize that does not really involve in the Empire. Viewers will see the presence of it but it's not an overwhelming plot point. This allows the story to be more humanistic and grounded in looking at these specific characters.
Ehrenreich does a fairly decent job playing a young version of Han Solo. He is able to capture the character's personality and mannerisms to slowly bring this loved character to life. While it's not eliminating Harrison Ford's performance, he is a very good substitute. Both Clarke and Harrelson do fairly decent in their roles but one of the best characters is L3 (Waller-Bridge) who is hilarious and works alongside Chewbacca's character in the freedom of slaves. Chewbacca (Suotamo) is a new Wookie in this film as he is used in the best way possible. He is given a stronger backstory and is no longer pushed to the side. He gets to really show how powerful he is as a character instead of only the partner of Han. Glover did a really good job for what he was given. He, unfortunately, does not do very much and does not show much more about the character than what was already established in the previous films.
The biggest flaw with this film is that it is a fairly safe film. The film does not give much more to the characters than what is already known from the previous films. Even with Chewbacca, the film only shows what was told before. It takes these characters that are loved and puts them into this small journey film that does not standout. It is pretty much a two-hour fan service that has a lot of easter eggs that fans will like when they come on screen, however, the film as a whole will feel unsatisfying. Any spoilers of the plot are fairly unsurprising as there are things that are rooted from the original films.
This film is not bad by any means but simply put, it gets the loved protagonist from point A to point B in an efficient manner but the journey is underwhelming. The characters and cast are good enough to keep a viewer engaged. It is funny at times a fast moving but simply put, it gets the loved protagonist from point A to point B in an efficient manner but the journey is underwhelming. It may be worth a matinee viewing and eventually owning the Bluray to complete the collection but it is not one hundred percent needed to tell the Han Solo story.
Rating: 3.0/5.0 bowties
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