Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Details: More information can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3778644/

Score: 7.3/10

I didn’t know what to expect when I started watching this movie. I’ve definitely been a victim of Star Wars fatigue and the idea of another spin-off like Rogue One is unappealing. However, Solo: A Star Wars Story has turned out to be one of my favorite Star Wars movies, maybe even my favorite Star Wars movie since Disney bought the franchise. The biggest weakness of this film in my opinion is likely also its most attractive attribute to prospective movie goers, and that is its connection to the Star Wars franchise.

Solo takes place in the Star Wars universe, before A New Hope. The story centers on a young Han Solo (the character Harrison Ford played). Han is a young man who aspires to greater things. Through a confluence of unfortunate circumstances, Han is indebted to a crime boss and must pull off a heist in order to pay his debt and not be killed. Han must now join a motley crew of thieves and killers and pull of this heist.

I’ve left out quite of few details in the synopsis above so as to avoid spoilers, but this is mostly a heist movie. The majority of the movie is set up for the circumstances of the heist and the follow through of the heist. There’s no Ocean’s Eleven complexity or twist to the heist, they’re mostly just big action sequences.

As this is a Star Wars movie, there are a ton of references to other movies in the franchise, with one particular noteworthy reference to the Star Wars animated television shows. For the most part, I don’t think these references were necessary nor were they the main draw of the film for me. I enjoyed the story on its own. I also enjoyed the references, but the story was strong enough to stand alone.

The acting was surprisingly good in my opinion. Everyone does a pretty good job. Woody Harrelson only really plays himself, but he always does a convincing job doing it. The actors who portrayed new characters were all fine. Emilia Clarke is fine. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is hilarious as the droid. Alden Ehrenreich deserves a special mention because he somehow resembles Harrison Ford’s Han Solo while making the character something original and different at the same time. Donald Glover is fine as he mostly just does a pretty good impression of Billy Dee Williams’ portrayal of Lando Calrissian.

The visuals and audio were both very good. It’s a Star Wars movie. Expect top quality special effect and music.

Overall, Solo was a good movie. If you come into this Star Wars movie looking for an epic tale of good versus evil or with big war scenes like in past Star Wars movies, you’re not going to get that. This is a more intimate story. I did feel like the constant need to make references to past films was unnecessary and sometimes dragged me out of the experience. Even still, Solo has a strong enough plot with enough heart to please audiences. I think that if they made this movie as a science fiction adventure with new characters and no connection to Star Wars, I really would have enjoyed it.

Score: 7.3/10

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