- 3 out of 5
Solo: A Star Wars story - so now we know; Han shoots first.
"T'would that it were so simple" is a line I desperately wanted to see Alden Ehrenreich say in this, the newest story in the Star Wars saga. A missed opportunity for the cinephiles then...(Hint: Coen Bros. "Hail Caeser!"
Here we are, the second spin-off story from the Star Wars universe which introduces us to a young version of the scruffy-looking nerf-herder. In true, checklist fashion we learn:
How Han got the surname "Solo"
How he met Chewbacca and how they became friends
How he met Lando Calrissian
How he encountered and fell in love with the Millenium Falcon
How he fell in love and had his heart broken
How he learnt how to pilot ships
How he did the Kessel Run in th famous 12 parsecs (rounded down!)
How he became a smuggler
All of this exposition is expertly wrapped up into a neat heist-film. There is a job to be done. Something needs to be stolen. Other guys are after it too. There are double-crosses aplenty and, as with Han, he always wins - almost.
For a film that had it's original directors fired and Ron Howard stepping in to re-shoot (reportedly) 70% of the film, non of that is visible. Indeed, the whole film hangs together quite well. One of the Howard re-shoots introduced Dryden Vos, a villain played with delicious aplomb by Paul Bettany who gets to stretch his acting chops a lot more than he does in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Alden Ehrenreich has been cast as the young Han Solo and while not looking remotely like a young Harrison Ford, manages to instill the character with the Harrison Ford swagger. I look forward to seeing him reprise the role.
According to reports, there are more stories being proposed for the Galaxy, far, far away. The rock that Luke lifted while being trained by Yoda is apparently getting its own back-story! Rumours of an Obi-Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett origin stories abound.
Solo is an enjoyable film. It's not as good as Rogue One and does not have the sense of peril that that film had. Ron Howard has crafted a good installment which is worth seeing.