Solo: A Star Wars Story Review – Above All Else, a Ton of Fun
Solo comes into a different fandom than the one that existed before it was announced — and that works to its benefit. Never has the fandom been more divided than it currently is, no way around that. The Last Jedi has its fans and its detractors, and coming off easily the most polarizing of the Star Wars series comes this goofy film with really nothing to do with the greater story of the galaxy. And it is all the better for it.
This film that "nobody asked for" should go a long way to quieting those that were not interested in the young adventures of Han Solo. The plot is known by now. Han (Alden Ehrenreich) leaves his home world and ends up joining a group of of galactic smugglers. In the process he meets his future best friend Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo, claiming Chewie for his own). They embark on adventure that sees them meet the criminal underworld, meet another smuggler named Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), board the Millennium Falcon for the first time, and all sorts of other things. That is as in detail as we will go, since the film hasn't been out long enough for you all to see it.
Do see it, though. Because this is the kind of fun you not only want to experience in the theater, but this is the fun you should expect from Star Wars. Ehrenreich is great as Solo. He never makes you forget about Harrison Ford, but that is because he perfectly mimics his mannerisms and even adds a little flavor to them. Donald Glover is superb as Lando, just like everyone else has been saying for months. Suotamo rules as Chewbacca, Paul Bettany does great work as the villain Dryden Vos. Emilia Clake is okay as Qi'ra; her performance is great the first half but falters a bit in the second. Special shout-out to Woody Harrelson for bringing it hard as Beckett and stealing the film, as he usually does. Enfys Nest is already a fan favorite for… reasons. The design of the character was great, but there is not much given to us to grasp on to. A book about that character would be a welcome one.
While the action is fun to look at, the train robbery drags on a little too long. The new droid there has been so much talk about was the worst part of the whole film. Without spoiling anything, L3-37 makes you long for more C-3PO screen time (and that is not a good thing). Just a complete miss with that one. There is quite a few nods to the EU as well that should have fans raising their eyebrows. And if you are a fan of Star Wars animated shows, you are in for a few treats — maybe turn to the person to your right or left and explain to them what they are seeing.
Other than some nitpick type things, this is a wholly great time at the cinema. No matter what side of the Star Wars fandom fence you sit on right now, there should be enough here for anyone to grab on to and enjoy themselves. Remember: that is what we go to these things for. To have fun.