Solo: A Star Wars Story ★★★½
Humpo Show Rating | 7.0
IMDb Rating | 7.2
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Erin Kellyman
Director: Ron Howard
Plot Summary: During an adventure into the criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion. (IMDb)
The story of how Han Solo became…Han Solo.
The films begins with the young Han (Alden Ehrenreich) as he engineers an escape from the fascist planet of Corellia. He must reluctantly leave behind love interest Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) as she is unable to leave the shipbuilding planet. He promises her that he will return to rescue her from the planet. His plan to rescue Qi’ra will require money, so he enlists in the army of the Empire, where he falls in with a group of interplanetary thieves which are led by Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and are joined by Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) in dramatic circumstances. They are charged with the task of stealing a shipment of coaxium by gangster Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany). There is plenty of action in this fast and loose film, which mirrors the kind of man Han Solo is.
We are treated to some great action moments. The ‘Train Heist’ scene was a fantastic watch, and the musical choices were well suited to the snowy and mountainous landscape. The camera angles were also well chosen as we got to see the train angling around the terrain in all its splendour. Han and Chewwie manage to get some time together to bond and work with each other.
We also get to meet the slick young gambler, Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) who has brilliant chemistry with Han Solo from their first scene together. Together with Lando’s droid pilot, L3-37, who delivers some comic relief in the form of sarcastic quips about the rights of droids, which draws comparisons to the modern treatment of women, immigrants and refugees. Lando and L3 have some good banter and they join the group in a daring mission that is explosive and entertaining.
I found Solo good fun to watch, but I felt that it glossed over some areas of the story. It is already clear that some Star Wars fans are outraged by the portrayal of Han, the history that has been painted of the character, and the way the film was shot and genred. I think Solo could begin the trend of the anthology films dipping in and out of genres, this was very much a space-western, and I can imagine more caper-like Star Wars films in the future, maybe even a comedy.
The film plays to the crowd and gives us the origin of Han’s name, the first time he met Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca, and exactly how he won the Millennium Falcon from smooth-talking Lando. All in all, the film is an enjoyable romp, and although there are issues that Star Wars fans will debate forever, the film will appeal to the new era of fans.
The Humpo Show | Richard