SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY Review - Han's Origin Movie Delivers... As Long As You're Not Expecting Too Much

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY Review - Han's Origin Movie Delivers... As Long As You're Not Expecting Too Much

Solo: A Star Wars Story is set to blast into theatres very soon, and after the jump you can find out what we made of this latest trip to the galaxy far, far away. Don't worry, there are no spoilers here...

Did anyone really want a Han Solo origin movie? As soon as the rumors hit that Disney and Lucasfilm were planning one, the vast majority of Star Wars fans dismissed the notion as folly, and when those much-discussed production problems came to light, the movie really did look to be in big trouble.

Well, whether you wanted it or not it's here, and it's actually pretty good. Good enough to justify its existence? That'll probably depend on your expectations.

Things get off to a rocky start, that's for sure. In fact, the opening sequence with Han and Qi-Ra on Corellia is so rushed, clunky and ill-conceived in every way that you might be concerned that the rest of the film will follow suit, but things do improve considerably once we jump forward a few years and the budding space-smuggler begins a life of crime with Beckett and his new band of outlaws. Then, when Chewie and Lando enter the fray, the movie really finds its footing and becomes an absolute blast.

The basic plot has been well documented at this stage so let's get straight to the big question: how is Alden Ehrenreich? In the lead role, he's really good; but as Han Solo, he's not quite as successful.

The Hail, Caesar actor wisely doesn't attempt a Harrison Ford impersonation, but he does infuse this younger incarnation of the classic hero with some familiar mannerisms and displays the requisite cockiness and swagger. The problem is, comparisons to Ford's iconic take on the character are inevitable, and Ehrenreich simply can't measure up.


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Fortunately, he's backed by a terrific supporting cast. Others have singled out Donald Glover's performance and with good reason. His take on the suave, roguish Captain Calrissian is a definite highlight, and he - along with his hilarious droid L3 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) - really deserved more screen-time.

Emilia Clarke is also impressive in a slightly underwritten role, and the fact that Woody Harrelson could play Beckett in his sleep doesn't make him any less entertaining to watch.

However, the real treat for old-school Star Wars fans will be seeing the bromance between Han and Chewie develop. Lucasfilm and co. will have known this was something they really had to get right, and thankfully, they nailed it. Just try to keep from grinning like a fool when Chewie takes his seat beside Han in The Falcon for the first time.

From a technical standpoint, Solo is also a winner. It looks fantastic, and for a film that was cobbled together from the work of two (well, three) different directors, it's tonally consistent and flows surprisingly well - all things considered.

The opener's a slog, but once it finds its feel Solo: A Star Wars Story delivers. If you go in hoping for a top-tier Star Wars flick you may be disappointed, but settle in for an old-fashioned sci-fi adventure with humor, heart and characters you can root for and you will have a great time.

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