Film Review – Solo: A Star Wars Story

I like McDonalds. If I eat it every now and again it always tastes great. However, the more I eat it, the less I like it. I’m starting to feel the same way about Star Wars films.

I was 4 when Star Wars hit cinemas back in 1977, 41 years ago today.

I’ve seen that film and the other entries in the original trilogy countless times, owning them on VHS and DVD. I’m nicknamed for the “Most Vile, Notorious Gangster in the Universe” – Jabba the Hutt. (Not as I’m a gangster mind you, but due to my passing resemblance aged 10 when Return of the Jedi was released.)

I watched the second trilogy at the movies and assumed the series would end there.

6 films in 28 years, delivering a Star Wars film every 4 & 1/2 years on average.

Since December 2015 there have been 4 Star Wars films. Episode VII & VIII in 2015 and 2017, and “A Star Wars Story” filling the gaps between in 2016 and 2018, with Episode IX set for release in December 2019.

So can the world handle a Star Wars film each and every year?

For me the latest entry is enjoyable and mainly great. But I’m reluctant to consider it an essential part of the space series, rather it’s essential for completists who need every ounce of “The Force” they can get, although pretty sure “The Force” was not mentioned once in this instalment.

Alden Ehrenreich, who was sensational in Rules Don’t Apply and Hail, Caesar! is note perfect as the titular star Han, surnamed “Solo” by a border guard when he signs up for service with the Empire in order to escape debts on the shipbuilding world of Corellia.

Separated from his partner Qi’ra (Emelia Clarke), he bands together with Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) to plan a daring heist on a trainload of fuel, where the opportunity presents itself for Han Solo to showcase his budding pilot skills.

This is one of a small number of visually stunning set-pieces that make Solo an extravaganza for the eyes, and also signifies a large debt to a universe created by a man named George. No, not George Lucas, but George Miller, as the Mad Max films are a distinctive influence on this movie.

The chase sequences, the character costumes and the overall washed out colour grade brought to mind Fury Road, while droids battling in a caged arena suggested a tip of the hat to Thunderdome.

Solo hooks up with Lando Calrissian, excellently inhabited by Donald Glover as the suave smuggler who hands over his Millenium Falcon to Han after a card game.

The pair continue on an adventure attempting to avoid a death sentence at the hands of the evil crime lord Dryden Vos, leader of Crimson Dawn, an outlaw enterprise with a famous member from the prequel trilogy.

Sadly many Star Wars fans appear to be “boycotting” the film in some kind of protest, when they could well be enjoying a tribute to the previous films that delivers an enjoyable enough 2+ hour ride.

3 & 1/2 Stars – “An Entertaining Chapter in the Star Wars Saga”

 

 

 

 

 

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