REVIEW: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'

You keep expecting the movie to land some rousing story punches to excite the audience, but it never happens.

Harry Hamm
May 25, 2018 - 10:40 am
Actors Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Alden Ehrenreich and Paul Bettany attends FIJI Water with the Cinema Society host a screening of 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' at SVA Theater on May 21, 2018 in New York City.

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for FIJI Water)

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“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is the 12th film in this series (I think) and it’s honest to say they are messing with us numerically. Even if you’ve seen every ‘Star Wars’ movie since “Episode IV: A New Hope” in 1977, you begin to wonder, why all the trilogies? And why didn’t they just do them in order? I suppose it’s a mystery of the Universe.

“Solo” stars Alden Ehrenreich as a youthful Han Solo (the film will show you how he got that last name) and it proceeds through its 2:15 running time smartly with rollicking action. Too often motion pictures of this genre will go almost three hours and wear out their welcome by the finale. Not this one.

Characters of note are Lando Calrissia, played by Danny Glover, and a con artist named Becket, played by Woody Harrelson. Much of the story revolves around the planet of Corellia, a dark, dingy place where practically everyone lives in servitude. It is here you’ll first meet Chewie, who at this time is known only as ‘The Beast’ and is kept in an underground dungeon where he apparently eats people for a living. Obviously, under the influence of Han Solo, Chewie has an epiphany. Solo’s love interest, Q’ira, is played by Emilia Clarke. There’s lots of kissing early in the story.

Director Ron Howard has kept the film’s visual tone gloomy. You keep expecting the movie to land some rousing story punches to excite the audience, but it never happens. ‘Solo’ is a very watchable movie. But at the end, the excitement level of the earlier efforts seem to be in a galaxy far, far away.

3 1/2 Stars