By Ian Crow

If you had told me a few years back that I would have seen a standalone movie of Han Solo on the big screen; I would have probably said how excited I was. Every person I know was excited at the prospect of a movie about one of the most loved characters in the Star Wars universe; fast forward only a few months back, and peoples opinion most likely changed. After the firing of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller more than halfway through the shooting of the film, Disney decided to bring in veteran Ron Howard to clean up the mess that was left behind. With turmoil and disarray clouding the future of Solo; had all expectation and excitement been erased given delays and reshooting? Following these set-backs, expectations were then further lowered with the release of their first trailer. Boring. Boring was the first word that came to mind, and for the first time in my life time, I hadn’t been excited for a Star Wars movie. Coming out from Solo, I have to say, I’m glad I went in with low expectations…because I ended up really enjoying it.

Solo gives us a look at our favourite hero in action before the events of the original Star Wars trilogy. With Solo leaving his home planet and leaving behind his love, Kira (Emilia Clarke) following her capture Hans makes the decision to plan her rescue. Joining a crew and having to save money for his own ship are just small hardships faced in this ploy. Along the way, we encounter some familiar faces as we get to experience his first meetings with Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). Han also encounters the Millennium Falcon for the first time too; a memorable moment of the movie.

As I mentioned previously, any level of expectation was out of the window before I sat in my seat in the cinema. The first act wasn’t astounding and so it took time to become invested – waiting for the pace and the story to pick up – before really dedicating myself to the film. My main first issue was if Alden Ehrenreich would live up the high standards left by Harrison. Of course no one will ever come close as Ford will always be Han Solo, but Ehrenreich does a superb job. You can tell he has mimicked Harrison Ford’s mannerisms and gives a confident performance which is a sigh of relief. The cockiness and arrogance is perfect and even gives way for the audience to have a laugh; or at least crack a smile. With the awareness that Ehrenreich is providing a good performance enjoying the rest of the movie could be done with no qualms. Donald Glover is perfect as Lando, he displays all the characteristics of the fashion loving coward that we all came to love in the original trilogy. Whilst Emilia Clarke and Woody Harrelson both are entertaining in their respective roles, but its Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s contribution as the droid L3-37 that gave me the most laughs. The sassy droid with an attitude far larger than other characters puts these others in their place and ends up providing the humorous role.

There isn’t much to talk about in terms of the negative aspects of the film, saying that however, the film failed to blow me away. There weren’t any visuals that I can recall that were outstanding or even one particular scene that sticks in my head. But then again there is no moment or scene that was awful. I suppose the huge positive to take away from Solo was that Ron Howard managed to salvage what was a ship wreck of a movie and turn it into an enjoyable one. Given what he had to work with I would say it was a job well done. So whilst I did enjoy ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ more so than expected it did not necessarily meet the standards of a Star Wars film.   3.5 out of 5 stars.

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