Solo: A Stars Wars Story.

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A mere six months after The Last Jedi comes yet another Star Wars Film. Solo: A Star Wars Story like Rogue One before it is a spin off film, but this time centred around a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich). It shows his childhood on the crime ridden Corellia, how he escaped and came to be the roguish outlaw we all know and love.

In Han’s desire to get back to Corellia to rescue his love Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) he bumps into a gang of criminals posing as imperial soldiers, led by Tyler Beckett (Woody Harrelson). After an encounter with Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), they both become involved in a plan to steal the valuable hyperfuel ‘coaxium’ for Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), the leader of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate. Of course things do not go according to plan and with Lando’s (Danny Glover) help all the usual double crossing, mischief and acts of derring do follow.

Solo is a flick in the vein of Indiana Jones and many a Western, a space bound heist caper that nips along at a fair old pace. It is a tight and well crafted, if slightly bland, slice of escapism with some great scenes, the heist on the space monorail and the Millenium Falcons race against time near the end being particularly thrilling. Of course with Han being the main focus of the film his budding relationship with Chewie, I can happily report, does not disappoint.

Whilst it is certainly entertaining and looks spectacular, you would expect no less from a $250 million budget and Ron Howard’s (Rush, The Da Vinci Code, Apollo 13) directorial stewardship, it feels unnecessary. It reeks of Disney flexing their muscles and milking the Star Wars cash cow for all it’s worth, following the formula that has worked wonders with Marvel. With Jabba The Hutt, Yoda and more Solo films rumoured to be in works, not to mention Episode IX and a whole new trilogy after that you best get used to it.

The acting is pretty solid but you expect as much from such a star studded cast. Alden Ehrenreich stood up to the unenviable task of Han with the correct amount of roguish charm and wit. Danny Glover plays Lando with equal levels of charm and ability, not forgetting Emilia Clarke’s loving yet individualistic Qi’ra. The only slight blot on the copybook is Paul Bettany, making Dryden Vos nearly as sneering and annoying as General Hux

6/10 – An action packed, fast paced and enjoyable caper that is sadly too unnecessary to heartily recommend – the perfect film for a dozy Sunday afternoon but that is about it.

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