Thursday, May 31, 2018

Millennial Falcon: Solo Review




We all know of the trouble Disney had during the filming of Solo. From Kathleen Kennedy firing Phil Lord and Chris Miller when filming was nearly done and hiring Ron Howard who reshot 70% of the movie, to actors stories leaking about how weird things were on set and even an acting coach being brought in for Alden Ehrenreich because he could not get the performance they wanted out of him, it seemed like Solo was on its way to disaster.

Box office may say that it has gone down that road, but as far as the movie goes, for me, it is the most fun Star Wars film since the original trilogy.

Solo starts out with our hero living on Corellia living like one of the kids in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Underdwellers". Forced to steal so he has shelter on a shithole planet all while making plans with his girl to get off world. When things don't go as planned and they are separated, Han joins the Imperial military all while making plans to return for her. After his militia stint ends...abruptly and meeting a Wookie named Chewbacca, he finds himself joining a small crews of thieves and he begins his path to becoming the character we know and love.

The strongest thing about Solo is its impressive cast. You have long time pros like Paul Bettany, Woody Harrelson and Thandie Newton that seem to relish the opportunity to be in a Star Wars film, as well as Alden Ehrenreich, who absolutely had me wanting to see him play Han again and Donald Glover. Donald Glover. Donald Glover. When Glover's casting was announced most fans, including me, geeked out because if we can't have Donald Glover as Spider-Man, we will damn sure take him as Lando. The best thing he does with the character is that he is not Donald Glover playing Lando, it is Donald Glover playing Billy Dee Williams playing Lando. I can't overstate how many times I would smirk when he would pronounce Han wrong. Not like Hahn, but like hand without the d. You know, like Billy Dee did in Empire and Return.



Speaking of Empire and Return, Solo peppers in so many tiny nuances and easter eggs it is a joy for Star Wars fans to find them all including one scene that proves the "Han shot first" cut of Star Wars is canon. Sorry Mr. Lucas.

Ron Howard was the absolute right choice to take over directing. Besides the fact he is one of the most accomplished directors in Hollywood history, Opie Taylor and Richie Cunningham, he knows how to show off the talents of his cast and keeps the action paced well with the humor and dealing with huge set pieces, both real and CG. I don't envy what he had to do. To come in on a limited schedule with a movie this large and not only finish it on time, but to make it as good as it is, got to respect the hell out of him for that.

Don't let Star Wars fatigue or your thoughts on The Last Jedi affect you going to see Solo. I thought The Last Jedi was a meandering mess and went into Solo with trepidation, but I am glad I did not let my thoughts on one film lead me to miss this. Because I would have missed out on the best Star Wars movie since 1983.

When it comes down to it, Star Wars is supposed to be fun. Sure you can have serious moments in your story, but remember watching them as a kid and how the characters stayed with you and you could watch them again and again for entertainment? When the credits rolled on Solo my first thought was "This was fun. This was Star Wars".

9 Hokey Religions and Ancient Weapons Out of 10

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