Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.
To be honest, for most of the run-up to the release of SOLO, my feelings were somewhere between “cautiously optimistic” and “Oh GOD WHY?!?”. However, the final trailer (when they finally showed an actual Han Solo) was pretty good, so I went into it with reasonably high expectations. I was not disappointed. SOLO is a fast-paced, fun origin story that still manages a few surprises even though everyone already knows how it will end.
Ron Howard, though brought in at the last minute to take over directing, delivers a tight, well-paced story that manages to be gritty but at the same time does not take itself too seriously.
The supporting cast is solid, and there is not a weak performance in the movie. Donald Glover is a delight as Lando Calrissian, just as everyone knew he would be. Woody Harrelson brought a surprising amount of complexity to the role of Han’s mentor, keeping things interesting and avoiding the cut-and-dry good versus evil trope.
Alden Ehrenreich does not do the Harrison Ford impression everyone expected, but he does a convincing job of portraying a street-smart-yet-naive kid who will one day become the cool, shoots-first-kind of pilot we meet years later in A New Hope. And that’s really the point. SOLO does not start out as a Star Wars movie, but it becomes one.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY is now playing in theatres everywhere.
Running time: 143 minutes
I received passes to the featured event in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.