A Spoiler-Free Review of ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

The concept of a young Han Solo standalone film didn’t appeal to me in the slightest when it was announced to be the second installment of the Star Wars Stories. Harrison Ford’s Han Solo had just been brutally killed out of the Star Wars universe in The Force Awakens. Did I really want to know about him before we eventually meet him in A New Hope? When they announced Alden Ehrenreich was going to replace Harrison Ford as Han Solo my skepticism rose even higher but I trusted that Disney knew what they were doing and so I held on to hope. It’s been a long ride watching the few ups and many downs of the Solo project but it feels like it was all worth it, for Solo truly was the movie that I could’ve only dreamed for. So, on that note, let me tell you a little bit about the film (spoiler-free.)

The Story

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First of all, unlike The Last JediSolo: A Star Wars Story is not a complex story in the slightest and that was so refreshing. My first experience watching The Last Jedi was a whirlwind of “What?!” The Last Jedi was unlike anything I could’ve expected…and not in a good way. If felt like the movie was a giant pinball machine and the ball was just bouncing from here to there and then back around to over there. Every time I was really getting into one person’s story it ricocheted over to somebody else. By the end of the film my brain was exhausted, I had practically lost all investment in the movie, and I was just waiting for the film to end. It took me watching it a second time to actually understand and appreciate the complexities of the story of The Last Jedi and that’s not a great thing, considering that a lot of people won’t take time to go watch a movie they didn’t like again. Solo does not have this problem.

There is never a moment where the story gets confusing or isn’t as concise as it once was. And the situations never let down either. You can totally tell that the incredible mastermind behind The Empire Strikes Back and Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark was behind Solo because it was absolutely phenomenal.

The Characters

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A lot of times films can be great but they are hindered by maybe a character or two. I am proud to announce that this was not the case for Solo. Every character that appeared in this movie, no matter how small their role might’ve been, was perfect in the context of the film. Beckett is hands down one of the coolest characters I have ever seen in any film. Qi’Ra was undoubtedly as mysterious as she was marketed to be and that was perfect. Donald Glover’s Lando doesn’t resemble the old Lando in the slightest and yet I felt that he was Lando…if that makes sense. He didn’t have as large a role as I would’ve imagined him having but he definitely helped make the movie more interesting. Chewbacca, oh my goodness, I love Chewbacca. End of discussion. And Han Solo, oh I have so much to say about him but I’m dedicating a post on the topic of the young smuggler because I could easily start rambling on and on about him in this movie. You’ll definitely want to see what I have to say about him. And Dryden Vos. Wow.

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I liked Paul Bettany as the superhero, Vision, in the MCU but his role as the villanous gangster, Dryden Vos was downright breathtaking. In fact, he’s one of my new favorite villains of late because he honestly was that impressive. His role was small but he stole the show in the most incredible ways. I am totally a Dryden Vos fan now.

And the other characters such as Val, the four armed Ardennian, Rio, and L3-37 all placed their personal stamps on the film that really helped bring the movie together in a fantastic way. Disney brought a great cast together to play some fabulous characters and they totally made the film worth watching.

The Action

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If you like action this movie’s got action! In fact, it’s the main aspect of the film. And not only is there a lot of action but those action-packed sequences are long and drawn out. Who doesn’t love an action Star Wars movie? I know I do. And it’s especially better in IMAX. Wow, it was loud and fantastic.

The Music

Music is a HUGE staple in Star Wars. It can be said that without John Williams’ magical score the movies wouldn’t have been received with as much praise as they ended up getting and the much can be said about these new Star Wars movies. It’s always a little worrying thinking of another composer making music for a brand new Star Wars flick but John Powell did a great job. Let me just say this, the theme for the villain, Enfys Nest, is unlike anything we’ve heard in Star Wars and it is awesome!

My Conclusion of the Film

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If you haven’t seen Solo yet please go watch it. Don’t let the Rotten Tomatoes Score or the mediocre reviews dissuade you from seeing the film because it’s an amazing film. It’s better than the prequel trilogy by a long shot and highly rivals Rogue One‘s brilliance. Its run time is perfect, as it tells a solid story without ever feeling too long or too short. And it’s just a great film, pure and simple.

What would I give it? I’m giving it 97 out of a 100 and 4.8 stars. That score might surprise you but honestly, it’s almost a perfect film and I wouldn’t change a single thing in the movie. Is it kid-friendly? Um, yeah, to a certain extent. There is quite a bit of romance that involves some subtle adult themes and some passionate kissing here and there but if you’re fine with that then yeah, it’s a great film for the family to see and totally worth the watch.

Disney has made my movie summer one of the best in recent memory with Avengers: Infinity War and now Solo and I just can’t wait to see what happens with Episode IX next December.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a spectacular day. May the force be with you.

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