Solo: A Star Wars Story
Runtime 135 minutes
Director Ron Howard breathes new life into a franchise that had grown tired and repetitive, telling the backstory of Han Solo; an action-packed film with a talented cast, good acting and terrific pace that never lets up.
Instead of the evil empire and Darth Vader and all that stuff, this has some bad guys who are actual human beings. Oh, it’s got the funny looking creatures that are no walk in the park, too, but this is much more like a normal action movie than any of the others have been, given that it takes place that same “…long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”
I had my choice of 2D and 3D and quickly chose 2D, thinking that the color would be brighter and better, as it usually is dimmed somewhat in 3D. Alas, for some reason Howard chose to film it darkly, so there’s not too much color to see. Still, I never get much of the desired effect from 3D films (after the opening titles, which are always eye-popping), so will generally prefer to see them in the old fashioned 2D.
Starring Alden Ehrenreich as the young Solo, it tells his derivation and even how he got his unique name. Co-starring are Woody Harrelson as a criminal who helps Solo escape from some bad situations and Emilia Clarke as his one-time girlfriend at the beginning of the movie. All give good performances.
We are also introduced into some people who have already appeared (since this is a backstory) most notable of which is Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), the creature that looks like a lion walking upright who becomes Solo’s boon companion.
Also appearing are Paul Bettany and Thandie Newton. Bettany gives a good performance in a role unlike any in which I’ve ever seen him. Newton’s talent is pretty much wasted in her small role anybody could play and one in which provides no avenue to display her ability.
Unlike other films of this genre, this movie does not rely on CGI and special effects, although there is a lot of that, and what there is of it is worthy. This is a good, involving movie on its own. The story could survive if it were set in our galaxy, on our little planet, in today’s time.