Solo: A Star Wars Story is another of those installments from the Star Wars franchise that ain’t part of the series but related to the main story arc like Rogue One. Just like any film from this franchise, it perfectly fits the mold, having all the elements of adventure expected from it. With master filmmmaker Ron Howard of at the helm, it of course turns out as solid as anticipated and does give you quite a ride as it takes you to Han Solo’s younger years as a wannabe pilot and soldier of fortune.
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The film cuts to the chase, literally, as Han (Alden Ehrenreich) and Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) somehow elope from the clutches of an intergalactic syndicate led by Lady Proxima. It’s a strong opening scene to set he mood, with a foreshadowing of a maneuver that appears in the latter part of the film—a classic scriptwriting device. You already know they mean business and they’re here to entertain. +4
There are so many quotable lines in the film like: "Family? Tribe? What’s the difference?" These are subtle anecdotes that linger in your subconscious while watching that would lead you to ponder, so get your note apps ready for them. +3
The train rollercoaster scene, though! Now that was so much fun and absolutely adrenaline charged. I can already imagine a rollercoaster ride fashioned after it. +2
Take an Ocean’s film plot and blow it up to intergalactic proportions, that’s what this film felt like which is a good thing. It also has lots of plot twists like in the heist film genre that will keep you guessing till the end. +3
Another classic device used in the film is when a character counts his eggs prematurely, it does not go well for them. Spoiler alert and skip this part if you haven’t seen the film, but I was really hoping that pilot ape Rio pulled through. He kinda reminds me of Rocket’s quirkiness from Guardians Of The Galaxy. +2
Those interstellar performers were a fantastic touch in the party held at the space age yacht. The female chanteuse gave me Sade feelz as she sang in some alien language. +1
Then there’s Lando’s (Donald Glover) bot with spunk, L3-37, whose personality is as huge as the Millennium Falcon. Expect meaty punchlines from this character! +3
Another conceit of the film is a kinda-weird love affair between man and machine, which Howard was able to pull off as believable! Strangely enough, at some point, it’ll give you the sniffles. +2
Alden lends ample gravitas to carry the title role, emulating the charisma of his predecessor, Harrison Ford. Clarke is also impeccable in the role of Han’s apple of the eye with the perfect balance of innocence and cunningness. Their chemistry carried the adventure flick to success, providing the human emotional anchor for the film. +4
Along with Lando and L3, the rest of the support cast is quite an interesting mix, providing a colorful array of characters. That is, including Paul Bettany as the film’s main villain Dryden Vos, who was absolutely menacing! Woody Harrelson as the clandestine mercenary, Beckett, served as an influential mentor to Han. And along with Val (Thandie Newton) and Rio ‘the monkey’ (Jon Favreau), they were a pack that gave us Guardians Of The Galaxy feelz! +3
Solo: A Star Wars Story is definitely a worthy installment of the popular franchise, having all the elements we’ve grown to love about the tales from a galaxy far far away. Is it remarkable enough to be remembered? That, remains to be seen in time, but there’s no denying that it is a finely crafted adventure flick that is perfect with the 27 popcorn kernels or more that would be best to enjoy this movie.
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Photographs by Jonathan Olley/Jonathan Olley for Lucasfilm Ltd