25 September 2023

Solo-A Star Wars Story

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Reviewed by Victor Rebikoff.

Director: Ron Howard, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, M 135 Minutes.

The Star Wars saga continues with this origin story of Han Solo, the character portrayed by Harrison Ford in the franchise’s many movies with Alden Ehrenreich (‘Running Wild’) reprising the famous role in this no-holds-barred action adventure.

As seen in the opening scenes, Han is someone intent on surviving with his girlfriend Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke –‘Terminator Genisys’) on the unruly planet of Corellia inhabited by criminal gangs and answerable to the ruthless worm-like ruler Lady Proxima.

When the opportunity presents itself Han and Qi’ra attempt to escape but she is captured and forced to remain while Han gets away promising to return after enlisting as a pilot in the Empire’s space fleet.

The story then fast-forwards three years and Han (with the added name of Solo) is now in the Empire’s infantry under the command of the cynical Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson –‘The Hunger Games’ franchise) and after much pressure Beckett reluctantly agrees to involve Solo in a smuggling heist to steal the highly-prized super fuel coaxium.

The heist is a failure with Solo ending-up in prison where he confronts and becomes friends with Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) ultimately escaping together in a jailbreak before connecting with the larrikin, Lando (Donald Glover –‘The Martian’) in a poker game.

Solo’s dream of owning the spaceship – Millennium Falcon – is finally realised as he, Chewy and Lando later join forces with Beckett to steal the coaxium promised to Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany –‘Avengers’), a criminal, only to find that Qi’ra works for him.

The mission takes the foursome including Qi’ra to the Kessel mines where having extracted the coaxium they are interrupted by marauding Cloud Riders demanding that it be better used leading to a final confrontation between Solo, Dryden and Beckett.

Howard’s direction of the latest Star Wars story is impeccable and it shows with its enjoyable action sequences, storyline and stunning special effects making it more than a worthy addition to the continuing saga.

Concerning the range of performances, Ehrenreich delivers an entertaining portrayal of the smooth talking space cowboy made famous by Ford as does Harrelson, Clarke and Bettany in their respective roles.

Vic’s Verdict: 4 Stars

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