Film Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

09:40 May 25, 2018
By: David Vicari

Now, this is a Star Wars movie. It's fun. It's exciting. It's kind of goofy. So yes, for the majority of its running time – before it eventually runs out of gas in its final act – Solo is a spirited adventure in summer movie tradition. 

Like 2016's Rogue One, this is a “spin-off” or “side story” film and not an actual chapter in theStar Warssaga which was brought up to Episode VIIIwith last year's underwhelming The Last JediSolo tells the tale of a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), who is a thief and gambler. Eventually, he meets professional thief Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and gets involved in a major heist. Along the way, Han meets his Wookiee pal Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and suave gambler friend Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). New characters include Han's love interest Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke), and crime lord Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany). 

Film Review: <em>Solo: A Star Wars Story</em>

Ehrenreich does a very impressive job in a difficult role. Think about it. It's an iconic character thanks to Harrison Ford, the only actor who has ever played Han Solo...until now. So, Ehrenreich has to evoke a young Ford. He also has to give off the arrogance of Han but also has to make him a little naive because of his youth. He pulls it off.

This being essentially a heist picture, there are double crosses, triple crosses and maybe a few swindles too many. And a cameo by a familiar Star Wars villain late in the film doesn't add anything and feels forced. Still, there is a cool and exciting train robbery, and we get to see the Millennium Falcon in action. All in all, Solo is a good time at the movies.

*** out of four

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