The swagger is there. The delivery, usually served with a smirk, is present also. So what if Alden Ehrenreich, the young actor who inherits the iconic role of Han Solo, doesn’t really look like his predecessor OR carry near the ‘it’ factor of Harrison Ford? It’s a decent performance. And when I say ‘performance’, I do mean that he actually makes a winsome effort to play the character – unlike Donald Glover, who essentially takes on the part of Lando Calrissian with a Billy Dee Williams impersonation.
Oh, it’s a slick impersonation, for sure. But it’s an impersonation, nonetheless.
I’m nitpicking, though. ‘Star Wars’ movies get a lot of that – and this is one admitted fan that will take it relatively easy the rest of the way in the review. See, I really did enjoy ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’, the origin tale of everyone’s favorite smuggler from the galaxy far, far away. No, it isn’t perfect. But it is an enjoyable Saturday afternoon half-sci-fi/half-western popcorn thrill ride, and isn’t that what George Lucas set out to accomplish so many years ago?
Jam packed with space chases, shoot-outs, card games, bar brawls and double-crosses, ‘Solo’ is honestly the perfect vehicle FOR the character. We follow him from his slave-like existence on his home planet to a stint with the Empire (he doesn’t enjoy his time with the bad guys, thank goodness), to a gig with an outlaw named Beckett (Woody Harrelson), all in an attempt to reunite with his childhood sweetheart (Emilia Clarke).
Of course, we have many way-cool ‘first’s’ along the way. Like the first time Han holds his legendary pistol. The first time he meets Chewbacca. The first time he steps aboard the Millenium Falcon. Those are the moments worth the ticket price. The rest of the proceedings are pretty good, but sentimentality wins the day in ‘Solo’.
I don’t want to even imagine what the movie looked like before director Ron Howard took charge; he replaced the original duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller. WITH Howard, this is very fluid, very solid escapism. Without him? I dunno, there’s a lot going on here, soooo…..