Solo : A Star Wars Story is the latest film in the Disney Star Wars universe. The film is an origin tale following the life of Hans Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) as he falls into becoming a pilot, meeting his best friend Chewbecca the wookie (Joonas Suotamo) and how he comes to be in the possession of the Millenium Falcon, the infamous ship for the latest films. It’s not that the film is bad, it’s actually quite interesting if you are a die hard Star Wars fan. If you are a fan of movies in general then it just comes across as a bit bland all round. Where the story falls short it makes up for with its characters, in particular Lando (Donald Glover) steals every bit of charisma and charm the movie oozes and his drone L3 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) save this from being a total disaster.
The film follows Solo as his name is established in the most laughable moment in film history, escapes his imprisonment with love interest Qi’Ra (Emilia Clarke) getting separated Solo must become a pilot, obtain a ship and come back and rescue her. Of course this doesn’t go to plan and he joins a gang led by Beckett (Woody Harrelson) as they attempt a heist for criminal mastermind Crimson Dawn (Paul Bettany). Along the way they run into famous characters Chewie and Lando. The premise sounds simple and it is, the biggest problem this movie has is its story. A lot of this is being credited to having 2 set of directors going through the film as the story does reach some high points to only plummet back down seconds later causing a lot of head scratching.
The action scenes are great and in particular the train sequence is the highlight of the film. There is a breakout scene that flips between comedic and serious and while it tries its best to “classic Star Wars” it just comes off as confusing. The final BIG action scene is extremely underwhelming and some of the effects quality are questionable.
While this may sound extremely negative, the thing that ultimately saves this film is its characters. The actors all bring their A game here and while Glover is the clear stand out, special mention has to be given to Ehrenreich for taking on a role of this magnitude. He does ooze the wit and charm that Solo is known for, it is however his bond with Chewbacca and their chemistry that cements this as a successful origin story, despite the awful plot.
Head out to the biggest screen you can find with the best Dolby Atmos sound with your Star Wars buddies as fans of the long running series will love every minute of this. Despite its flaws, it does deliver a band of Star Wars characters re-invented for a new generation. While the run time is a bit too much and could easily have 45 minutes shaved off it, it is a good time. While it may not reach the heights of The Force Awakens, it does cement itself in Star Wars canon as a solid installment with endearing characters audiences will fall in love with.
Solo : A Star Wars Story is showing in cinemas now.