REVIEW: “Solo: A Star Wars Story”; Not Bad, Kid!

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” – Han Solo

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is known for a few things. First, it is generally known as the Star Wars movie that no one really wanted. And second, it was surrounded in controversy after original directors, Chris Lord and Phil Miller, were let go by Lucasfilm after completing most of the film, and then Ron Howard was then hired to fix any damage and complete the film in time for its May release date. Most people had a bad feeling about this…..

The film begins with us meeting a young Han (Alden Ehrenreich), trying to survive on a planet with his girlfriend, Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke). Life isn’t easy for them as they have to deal with crime lords, such as Lady Proxima, and just dream of one day getting enough credits to buy a ship and escape to a better life. Things don’t go as planned for the couple and one gets their wish, and the other does not. Three years later, Han meets up with Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson), and joins up with his crew as they embark on a big heist that will make them all rich and change their lives forever. But the clock is ticking and they don’t have much time to complete their job. Of course Han also meets everyone’s favorite Wookiee for the first time, as well as that smooth talkinh scoundrel himself, Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). Any more said will get into spoiler territory.

Surprisingly, with all of the negative press and so-so reviews, this movie ain’t bad. Actually, it’s pretty good. In my opinion, it’s a better movie than The Prequels and even Rogue One. What I liked about Solo, is it just feels different form anything we have seen before from a Star Wars movie, but in a good way. Don’t expect this to be a grand epic like The Star Wars Episodes, and just try and enjoy it for what it is. A heist movie, and sometimes a space Western, that is set in the Star Wars Universe. For the most part, Solo is a really fun action-packed popcorn flick.

Everyone in the cast does a great job with their character. I was worried about the casting of Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, but he did a decent job. I know it’s hard, but try and forget that Harrison Ford was ever Han Solo and it may help you enjoy Ehrenreich’s performance. He kind of reminds me of Jack Nicholson at times, and even a bit like Chris Pine, when he played Kirk in Star Trek. I even saw a little Mick Jagger in there too. Donald Glover does a great job portraying Lando, but it’s mostly his voice. It really is spot and close your eyes and you would think you were listening to Billy Dee. I just don’t think Glover looks anything like him though. Emilia Clarke does a fantastic job and gives Princess Leia some real competition as Han’s love interest. Again, they are all great. Thankfully, there is no Rose (The Last Jedi) in this Star Wars movie.

There are a lot of great action scenes in Solo, like the cargo train heist scene, that we have seen in the trailers and also the legendary Kessel Run. The later feels less epic than you imagined when first hearing about it in A New Hope. And there are definitely some twists that you will not expect, especially the appearance of a fan favorite from the Star Wars Saga, that really did not make much sense. That person seems “forced” in there for the shock factor.

If there is any negatives, it does seem to go on longer than it needs to. Just when you think, now would be a great time to end it, it keeps going. At 2 hours and 15 minutes, it might have been better off to cut maybe 15 minutes. Also, the villains were kind of weak and even somewhat nonexistent. I was kind of glad that they didn’t rely too much on pushing too many Easter Eggs on us from past movies. There are definitely some, but they aren’t overly used or eye rolling.

I am not sure whether to give credit to Ron Howard or Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Or maybe it’s a little of both. But in the end, Solo is a fun Star Wars movie that the whole family can enjoy and one that I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel to.

I give Solo: A Star Wars Story an 8/10.