I was given a private screening of “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” so I was able to write most of my review of it on my iPhone.
It started off with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (the two geniuses behind “21 Jump Street” and “The Lego Movie”) leaving the project due to “creative differences,” and ended up being directed by Ron Howard, and the duo serving as executive producers.
This is one of those reviews in which I say: “See what you think.” This is an ambitious summer movie with some fun action and likable performances. But the Force isn’t always with it.
Alden Ehrenreich plays the young Han Solo, who longs for nothing more than to become a pilot. The movie starts with him and his girlfriend Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) dodging the henchmen of the evil light-sensitive slug Lady Proxima (voiced by Linda Hunt). She gets captured, and he joins the Imperial in order to get her back.
Three years later, he meets three thieves posing as soldiers-Beckett (Woody Harrelson), Val (Thandie Newton), and the four armed alien Rio Durant (voiced by Jon Favreau)- and the Wookiee Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), whom he decides to call “Chewie.” They’re pulling off a score, in order to pay back the crime lord Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), which ends up going wrong.
When Han finally reunites with Qu’ra, she joins his group to get the item they need, and she introduces them to the gambling Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), who says: “Everything you’ve heard about me is true.” And he and his droid L3-37 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) both have (Dun Dun DUUUUNN!!) the Millennium Falcon.
“Solo” isn’t one of the best “Star Wars” movies I’ve seen. It has too many things going on in its story, the love story between Han and Qu’ra isn’t interesting, and it looks as though the franchise needed to be glamorized. We can’t always rely on action and glamor for it to be a great “Star Wars” movie. You need pacing, strength, and ambition.
At least it isn’t a “Star Wars” movie without some nice qualities. I liked Ehrenreich as Han, Glover as Lando, and Suotamo as Chewie, because of the charms and dialogue their characters offer. There are some cool chases like the opening scene or a robbery, which takes places on a double sided train (on and under the tracks). Two surprises pop up. And it has some great looking images, thanks to Han, Lando, and Chewie being placed in the right sandy or moist areas.
But in spite of these features, they end up being overshadowed by the action and pacing. The movie could have been better, if we just took it down a notch.
But now comes the question of whether you’ll like the movie or not? Depending on your views, you may or may not. I’m taking a friend of mine to see it a second time, so I’ll see what he thinks. My response is: it has its moments, but it’s too big to be perfect.
And by the way: Harrison Ford is the best Han Solo there is (Sorry if I forgot to mention his name).