Sunday, May 27, 2018

Solo - A Star Wars Story

If there is one truth is the Star Wars Universe it's that the two solo prequels (Rogue One and Solo) are the best Star Wars films since Empire Strikes Back and are much better than the sequels that came after Return of the Jedi. You would think that the reverse would be true but the sequels and trilogy prequels are overburdened with content that HAS to be wedged into the story to prop us the mytholody that George Lucas created. We have major expectations for those post Jedi film what no one could satisfy becasue over the decades of movies and cartoons and comic book and novels there were rules. In that way we get characters and situations that make little sense and only drag down the movie just because some charcter has to fill a role to keep Star Wars canon alive.

Sith leader Snoke is a perfect example of that. An absolutely useless character given how easily he was dispatched in The Last Jedi. With the exeption of the Luke and Leia moments in the Last Jedi I never felt that tingle in my soul I get with the first three movies in the series or when I hear the Star Wars music.

The prequels also were short on that magical 'Star Wars FEELING'. You know what I am talking about. Admit it, until Rogue One which was spectacular and the closest to a real Star Wars movie that I had seen in decades, you havene't ejoyed a Star Wars movie this much since Empire Strikes Back. You all know what I am talking about. Rogue One felt more like a REAL Star Wars movie that any of the four that came before it. The creators of Solo definatley took notes and hit many of the same sweet spots that made Rogue One such a thrilling adventure. It's too bad that Roque One can't have a sequel for obvious reasons.

Now with Solo there is none of that burden of all those decades of continuity. As long as he teams up with Chewie, meets Lando and flies the Kessel Run is less than 12 parcects with the Millenium Falcon, then we are fine. Solo works because there is room for whatever you want to throw into the tale while creating a whole fresh mythology. I was actually suprised by a few sweet cameos. But most inportantly I bought into Han's world from the opening minutes and I never was let down for a second.

Directed by Ron Howard and written by the Kasden brothers the film has a strong creative team and a fantastic cast that doesn't try to re-invent Star Wars but tell a story in that same chaotic universe. I bought into the illusion of a young Han Solo because Alden Ehrenreich didn't try to immitate Harrison Ford. He just played the young cockey hero and found the chacacter's heart.

Even the invention of Han's last name brought a smile to my face.

The rest of the movie follows Han as he teams up with various scoundrels, inlcuding Chewbacca and Lando and Woody Harrelson to pull of a heast that will allow him to get back to the girl he left behind  on another planet. On his journey he meets some familiar characters and finds the ship that he falls in love with - The same ship we all fell in love with all those decades ago.

After aquiring the Falcon the team takes it on a perilous mission that is exciting to watch unfold. We even get to see Chewbacca go full bad ass against a group of miners. There are many twists and turns in what essential is a heist movie by criminals and for criminals and 'DON'T TRUST ANYONE' is the theme of the film. Donald Glover is great as Lando and his epic confrontation at the poker table over the Millenium Falcon is the highlight of the film. The film realized that one of our favorite parts of Star Wars lore is the card game that Lando lost the Millenium Falcon to Han- 'fair and squar.'

Woody Harrelson is excellent in the film even though he is just there to remind Solo never to trust anyone and he does it enough times that we ALL get the point. I only wish Han did but that is what gives the movie it's emotional punch. They also set themselves up nicely for a Solo sequel which I would watch in a heartbeat. The heart of Star Wars is alive and well in this film even without a single Jedi or light saber. Go see it and smile.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I heard on TV that this is tanking at the box office because audiences aren't "connecting" with the actor who plays Han Solo. Clearly that was not your experience though.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

No. I wasn't looking for a Harrison Ford immitation. I wan't a handsome rogue with a plan to get out of any situation. I know this one will be treated much kinder in the future and with all the social media hate for anything that deter from the STAR WARS that people expect gets smashed. People forget Lucas made three crappy prequels and he was not the man to continue the franchise. All I know is I like it like i like the cartoons on TV and one day people will watch it on Netflix and realize it's a solid heist movie.

Rob R said...

I enjoyed it! I'd say l liked it more than loved it... What follows is KINDA SPOILDERY (in a vague sorta way) My only real complaint is that they hammered every single thing so hard: how he was named (I know, you liked that), the significance of the dice, how he got his blaster, how he meets Chewie, how he meets Lando, etc. There was no room for subtlety in this one. Alden, didn't quite do it for me, but didn't ruin it for me either. That said, there's a lot to like about this too! I'd love a sequel... or even better: A Lando spinoff!