I’ll be the first to admit, that when Disney announced they were doing a Han Solo movie – I cringed. Actually, I did more than that – I actively complained to my friends.
“No one wants this!” I exclaimed. “Did you ask, for this? Because I sure as hell didn’t.” I continued to berate my very tired friends. “Who thought this was a good idea!?” —- this continued for months.
And now that the day is here, and I was able to see the movie for what it is – I think I have to eat my hat. Because this movie is action packed, fun, and brought to life some of the best parts why I love Star Wars. Read more to find out why I flipped 180 degrees from my initial thoughts …
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
At the core, this movie an origin story. Everything you’ve ever wondered about when it comes to Han Solo will be introduced and played out visually and sometimes in stunning form.
Looking for when Han meets Chewy? You got it. Always wondered where those gold dice came from that he slings to the Millennium Falcon? Check! Have a hankering to be a fly on the wall when Lando Calrissian looses the Falcon to Han? Yep – you’ll see that too. But that’s to be expected. This is a Han Solo movie, after all.
But it’s not only that – There is an underlying story that is being told here too – about love – loss – trust – and what it means to think for yourself. If anything, this movie is packed with action from the moment it starts to the moment it ends. And in my opinion, it’s a fun ride and should be given a chance, even if your skeptical.
So, let’s break it down just a little bit more to identify the movie’s strengths and weaknesses.
THRUST INTO LIGHT SPEED:
- The movie is fast paced and action packed – you won’t be disappointed in that aspect, that’s for sure.
- They bring the best elements of Star Wars into the overall storytelling – from great practical and digital effects, to fun costuming and creature creation. I was really pleased to see these elements work so well in the movie. It made me feel like the characters, planets, and other elements were part of the original Star Wars trilogy vs. the unholy prequel movies we pretend were never made.
- We get to see new staple characters – and they are awesome. I can see the cosplay forums buzzing now – because the movie delivers on some really great character designs and stories. I don’t want to give too much away – but this movie is diverse, and it’s wonderful to see strong characters as part of the overall experience.
- I agree with my Gabbing Geek co-host (Watson) in his SOLO review: that “Donald Effing Glover is a star!” Glover did an excellent job playing Lando Calrissian, from the speech patterns, to the quirky facial nuances. After the movie was over, I sat there pining for more Lando – yes – he’s that’s good!
- Additionally I thought some of the new main cast members were also fantastic. Woody Harrelson as rogue-bandit Beckett was a nice addition to the Star Wars lore, as well as some of his compadres. In the same vein Paul Bettany as the villainous Drydon Vos delivered the much needed heat and hate from the “evil” side of the empire.
- When it comes to loving new characters – there is one that stands out above the rest, and that’s L3-37. She’s feisty, she’s funny, and ultimately she steals the show!
- And finally, I personally LOVED everything with Chewbacca – from the initial meeting of Han Solo – to a few iconic scenes in the movie thereafter. There is nothing better than a few Chewy jokes to lighten things up and keep it playful.
STALLED & MIGHT NEED REPAIRS:
- As much as I wanted Alden Ehrenreich to successfully play Han Solo – his performance, though not bad, was just not Harrison Ford. And I wanted to call this out immediately. It’s not that his performance is bad. Actually – Alden (if graded alone) did a great job! But – you and I – and the REST OF THE WORLD will unfortunately compare him to the infamous Ford. Whether that is fair or not, is up for debate. But this is a Han Solo movie – and Harrison Ford is the epitome of the character. How do you duplicate that? The truth is, you can’t. Alden got as close as he could, but even I, at times, mumbled to myself…”it’s just not the Han I know and love.”
- I love me some Mother of Dragons in Game of Thrones, but unfortunately – I did not love Emilia Clarke‘s performance as Qi’ra. I don’t want to spoil anything about who or what she is or isn’t to Han Solo, but all in all – it wasn’t believable to me. And at times I was sitting there bored with her parts in the movie (with exception with one particular scene towards the end).
- Though I said this movie was fast paced and action packed – at times it felt disjointed. Like I was watching little vignettes that were somehow pieced together to create an overall movie. Sometimes the vignettes felt really out of place, and other times it seemed to flow nicely into the next plot point. But as a viewer, I don’t want to be jostled so much from one thing to the next, and unfortunately Solo is jarring in that way.
CRASHED AND BURNED:
- There is a very specific cameo at the end of the movie – and because this is spoiler free – I cannot mention who or what that is all about. But in my mind – it totally fell flat. Actually, I’m quite surprised that Disney or ANYONE working on this movie thought it was a good idea. I’m not a casual fan either – I’m the girl who reads the books, and the comics, and watches the cartoons, etc. etc. and even for me – this was FAR REACHING. I can’t imagine what a casual movie goer will think if I hated it that much. I guess only time (and internet memes) will tell.
No matter if you’re a die hard Star Wars fan like myself, or just a casual on-looker; Solo: A Star Wars Story was a fun, action packed movie that deserves a viewing. There are more positives in this film then there are negatives, and honestly – what else are you doing right now? The Millennium Falcon is calling you – there’s a kessel run to accomplish!
Overall, I give SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY 8 “hanging golden dice” out of 10.