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Friday, May 25, 2018


Young Han Solo finds adventure when he joins a gang of galactic smugglers, including a 196-year-old Wookie named Chewbacca. Indebted to the gangster Dryden Vos, the crew devises a daring plan to travel to the mining planet Kessel to steal a batch of valuable coaxium. In need of a fast ship, Solo meets Lando Calrissian, the suave owner of the perfect vessel for the dangerous mission -- the Millennium Falcon.

Director: Ron Howard

Cast:  Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, Paul Bettany

Release Date: May 25, 2018

Genres:  Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence

Runtime: 2h 15min 


Solo: A Star Ware Story went through some much publicized behind the scenes drama.  Directors were fired, Phil Lord and Chris Miller were let go and replaced by Ron Howard, and a large chunk of  the film was reshot.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story went through some similar trials and tribulations but that film ended up being a pleasant surprise.  Solo though ends up feeling decidedly safe but still solid.  Ultimately, the entire film feels like fan service.  After a rather thrilling heist on a train, it feels as if Ron Howard is checking off a list of Disney approved sequences that he needs to emulate with a fresh coat of paint.  Howard, to his credit, delivers a serviceable film that's as enjoyable as it is as non nondescript.  You can feel Howard trying to provide some iconic or memorable shots but none of them land the way you'd like them to.  It's hard to figure out why this film doesn't land the way it should but it's definitely not Alden Ehrenreich's fault.   Ehrenreich had the daunting task of taking over a legendary role and after a bit of an adjustment period he delivers solid work. Ehrenreich captures the swagger and charisma of Ford's Solo, for the most part.  Ford's work was so singular that'd it'd be impossible to duplicate it but Ehrenreich delivers an impressive performance.  The supporting cast is made up of familiar faces and you'd think they'd make a lasting impression but sadly they don't.  Stilted dialogue and undercooked supporting characters leave you wanting for more.  Emilia Clarke and Woody Harrelson are solid but their characters never pop the way you'd hope they would.  Donald Glover leaves a bigger impression as a younger Lando Calrissian.  Glover captures Billy Dee Williams tenor and smooth charm effortlessly, making him the most interesting thing on screen throughout the film.  You kind of wonder if this film would have worked better as buddy comedy with
Ehrenreich's Solo and Glover's  Calrissian as the central point.  As is, Solo is solid but incredibly safe entry into Star Wars cannon.


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