Solo: A Star Wars Story
Set aside your doubts and see this entertaining film before it leaves the theater.
While I’m late to the game with this review, let me simply say that this will prove to be a fun movie for everyone but diehard Star Wars fans. Let them stew in their own juice as this film combines expected great special effects with a comic undertone that makes it seem shorter than its 2 hour 15 minute length.
Alden Ehrenreich plays the young Han Solo, a cynical young man looking for adventure, a quick buck and love in that order. He is a young actor who oozes a charming personality that will hold your attention, in the process overcoming his role in the forgettable Coen Brothers’ film Hail, Caesar! (2016).
The movie exhibits some emotional power at various times, one of the best being the beginning of Solo’s friendship with Chewbacca. He and that old Wookie overcome an initial dislike to form a powerful team.
Solo also quickly discovers the dangers of falling in love when he becomes mesmerized by Qi’ra, a smart, sassy young woman played by Emilia Clarke. Ms. Clarke builds on her powerful performances in Game of Thrones and the splendid but overlooked Me Before You (2016) to play a woman trying to determine if her attraction to Solo is a greater reward than joining the Dark Side.
The film focuses on Solo joining some smugglers to try to venture to another planet to steal some expensive minerals, and in the process he meets Lando Calrissian, the owner of the Millennium Falcon, a spaceship that all Star Wars fans remember. Donald Glover brings a sterling combination of piss and vinegar to his role as Calrissian, and wait until you see his breakdown when his beloved droid L3-37 dies a noble death.
While Paul Bettany brings some punch to the villain Dryden Vos, Woody Harrelson gives a memorable performance as Beckett, a guy who could be a friend or enemy. Harrelson has emerged as one of the most talented actors appearing in today’s films, and his role opposite Solo adds to his unforgettable performance in last year’s Oscar nominated Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Though this latest Star Wars adventure, directed by Ron Howard, has been dismissed by many critics as a disappointing failure given its box office returns, don’t buy in to that criticism. As referred to earlier, people you like die, and this takes the film to an emotional level that will tug a bit at your heartstrings.