Solo: A Star Wars Story Theatrical Review

Actors Alden Ehrenreich Emilia Clarke Donald Glover Phoebe Waller Bridge and Thandie Newton depart the screening of

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To be honest, Solo feels like fan fiction. You can't help but wonder what the end result would have been if Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who were fired deep into production, had gotten to see their project through to the end, or what it would have been like had Howard been involved since the beginning, but there are no obvious cracks or seams.

MONDELLO: Now, if you're a "Star Wars" fan, you know that Han won the spaceship Millennium Falcon in a game of Sabacc, and he won it from. Woody Harrelson is fine but unsurprising as Tobias Beckett, playing firmly into type here as the grizzled mentor and shady thief who takes Han under his wing. They naturally get involved in all sorts of hijinks, before concluding with a bunch of hints as to the man Solo will eventually become. The decision to explore Lando's story is the right one, and not a surprising one. Deeply entwined when they first meet, their reunion has a real sense of tension - neither person is able to recapture what they once had.

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I keep harping about "fun" but that's what Solo has that Rogue One and even most of The Last Jedi were lacking. However, this story also focuses on those in the grey areas looking to make a quick buck.

Young Han is scrappy and overconfident and makes things up as he goes along, unafraid to lie or trust his gut.

Opening May 25 nationwide, director Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke as Qi'ra and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca.

US actor Alden Ehrenreich British actress Emilia Clarke US actor Donald Glover British actress Phoebe Waller Bridge and British actress Thandie Newton pose as they leave the Festival Palace
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MONDELLO: There's fun to be had in this, especially if you've been curious as to, say, how Han got the last name Solo or what's with Lando's colorful capes. From changing directors to reshooting 70% of the movie. It works. If not mind-blowingly dazzling, the film certainly proffers a slew of enticements that will leave nobody, least of all admirers of the world's most lovable space outlaw, short-changed. And as we know Ehrenreich is signed on for more movies, Solo does a good job of setting up the intrigue of that saga, while taking care of most of the "oh THAT's where that came from" moments so the later films don't have to. Phoebe Waller-Bridge has an entertaining voice role as Spartacist droid L3-37. I wasn't blown away, but I'm thoroughly compelled to watch more Solo movies, which even a week ago was not what I expected at all.

Star Wars: A New Hope - 93%. Ultimately, she isn't given enough to do.

Solo: A Star Wars Story makes the jump to light speed in a high-octane adventure that navigates the perils of a dark and risky criminal underworld, forges new friendships that will last a lifetime, and reveals untold secrets from the hidden past of one of the Star Wars saga's most unlikely heroes.

So it would have been a miracle if the movie even turned out to be half-decent.

A Star Wars Story now has a decent Rotten Tomatoes rating of 72 percent as of time of writing.

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