Solo: A Star Wars Story

15271994927256606803560990010701.jpgDirected by critically acclaimed filmmaker Ron Howard who won the Academy Award for 2002’s A Beautiful Mind, Solo: A Star Wars Story is an entertaining movie in the Star Wars saga with plenty of adventure and CGI-enhanced action sequences but underwhelms compared to the original and most recent installments. As the second standalone anthology film in the series, the movie is more of a origin story that follows the early exploits of Han Solo, played by the up-and-coming charismatic Alden Ehrenreich, and how he evolved into the famous character portrayed by Harrison Ford in the original trilogy. We first meet Han trying to escape a criminal organization with his girlfriend Qi’ra, played by Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones fame, and travel to another planet where he can pursue his dream of becoming a pilot. For a time, he is a soldier for the Empire, but he eventually becomes a deserter to join forces with a group of criminals led by Tobias Beckett, played by Oscar nominee Woody Harrelson. He also meets his future famous copilot Chewbacca, and they enter in their friendly rapport with humorous back-and-forth as depicted in the first movies. The rest of the movie follows the formula of a heist film in which Han and his new outlaw friends must steal the valuable so-called hyperfuel coaxium for yet another criminal syndicate known as the Crimson Dawn led by Dryden Vos, played by Paul Bettany. Things get increasingly complicated for Han, and he must team up with the notorious smuggler Lando Calrissian, played by Emmy winner Donald Glover, who provides him the means of piloting the well-known Millennium Falcon spaceship. Towards the end of the film, there are a few plot twists and not all of the characters are as they appeared in the beginning. The story appeases Star Wars fans with the appearance of characters and new details that refer to the nine other installments and may not have as much significance for general audiences. Overall, I found it to be a satisfying cinematic experience that had enough excitement to make up for the shortcomings of being sometimes too formulaic and not adding much depth to the already complex Star Wars franchise.

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