At times more bumpy than is good for the heavy payload that it has on board, the Solo: A Star Wars Story ride is heady and thrilling enough to please newcomers to the saga as well as its inveterate fans. It takes a bit - I mean, we all have a lifetime of Ford as Solo in our heads to try and forget - but after awhile, your brain decides, "Well, this is the main character and I'm going to accept that now", even though Ehrenreich's Han Solo sounds less like Harrison Ford and more like circa 1997 Leonardo DiCaprio.
The gown marks Newton's debut as Val in Solo: A Star Wars Story and as the first Black woman to have a leading role in a Star Wars film. Even the new score by John Powell (Jason Bourne) only soars when it samples the original John Williams theme. Per Variety, Lando's "droid, L3-37 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), is engaged in a one-robot campaign to free her fellow machines of their servitude, frequently launching into Emma Goldman-style stump speeches and taking part in some charged banter with Lando that gives Solo its most surprising kinks".
I'm not sure if it's Ehrenreich himself or the script that leaves him teetering on the edge of greatness but while he embodies some of Solo, he never quite makes the commitment all the way through. How did Han and Lando Calrissian (a sprightly Donald Glover), gambler and scoundrel, come to know each other? Ron "safe pair of hands" Howard was brought on after initial directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller fell out with the management over what we used to call musical differences. Or do we want them to be amusing, escapist entertainment we can easily digest and not think too much about?
The Hollywood Reporter says, "Obviously, the person with the most to prove here is Ehrenreich, who previously managed to steal a few scenes of his own as aw-shucks cowboy actor Hobie Doyle in the Coen brothers' Hail, Caesar!". It adds depth to the character that is worth exploring more in hopefully another Solo sequel or even a Lando standalone movie.
Also starring Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany, it's out across the United Kingdom on May 24. The overall dark look of the movie is perhaps created to hide Ehrenreich's lack of resemblance to Ford - or maybe it's just to evoke The Empire Strikes Back, the darkest and most popular film of the franchise's original trilogy.
Years before the events in A New Hope, young Han Solo is a thief on Corellia working for Lady Proxima. In some ways this is one of the "lighter" of the "Star Wars" adventures, as we know beyond any doubt Han, Lando and Chewy will live to fight another day. (Some of these things happen, some don't). She/it is probably the best "same but different" flourish in all of "Solo", reminiscent of droids past, inevitably, but very much welcome.
The ending, in particular, takes Star Wars lore to a bold place that potentially might not land with casual and diehard fans alike. It will be interesting to see if the public agrees with the critics this time around.
However, Bradshaw thought that Solo showed "Ron Howard was born to direct it".
The most positive review came from The Guardian, with critic Peter Bradshaw giving it four stars. We'll dive into spoilers after release, as there is plenty to unpack. If nothing else, Solo: A Star Wars Story features some fabulous clothes, courtesy of costume designers David Crossman and Glyn Dillon.
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