What are the critics saying about Solo

Solo Star Wars

Solo Star Wars

The Kasdans - Lawrence worked on three previous "Star Wars" scripts - wield those narrative questions like arrows declaring: THIS WAY TO THE NEXT CHASE SCENE. The hype was understandably thunderous; the merchandising sales alone could have put small debt-laden nations back on their feet.

"Solo: A Star Wars Story is a crackingly enjoyable adventure which frankly deserves full episode status in the great franchise, not just one of these intermittent place-holding iterations".

Take a deep breath, everyone.

On the other hand, no franchise rakes in more than $42 billion without being able to keep a good thing going. Since 1977, we have been watching as Luke, Leia and Han have been fighting evil and saving the day (or at least trying to). For a film that is constantly nudging us in the ribs with allusions to the original Star Wars trilogy, it does Solo few favors to bring to mind the incendiary interplay between Ford and Carrie Fisher that gave those films so many of their standout moments.

Good but not great, if you are a Star Wars fan you should probably go and see it regardless of what critics say.

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For the rest of the film, director Ron Howard whooshes us from ugly smog-filled planet to ugly smog-filled planet as the gang tries to complete their mission, not so much saving the galaxy as saving their own asses. And it is mystifyingly dark, in colour rather than content, nearly as if the film stock has been washed in ditchwater.

However, Bradshaw thought that Solo showed "Ron Howard was born to direct it". Or do we want them to be amusing, escapist entertainment we can easily digest and not think too much about? It was also reported that the lead actor, Alden Ehrenreich, was given an acting coach to improve his performance.

The film begins in Solo's lawless home planet of Corellia.

They might wish, though, that it had grander ambitions.

"You look good, a little rougher on the edges, but you look very good": that is the compliment that the handsome Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) pays Han - very apt indeed - when the two meet a few years after they are separated in a bid to escape from the "mean streets" of a fascist, lawless planet in "a galaxy far, far away".

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Finnish actor Suotamo plays the role of Chewbacca in the films, but for the premiere he donned a tuxedo and let somebody else wear the costume.

By the time he and Chewie hook up, Solo has been thrown out of pilot school for insubordination and somehow ended up as a humble foot soldier. In the trenches he meets rascally Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and his partner Val (Thandie Newton), who re-introduce him to a life of crime.

The aim of the heist was to steal Coaxium, the coveted starship fuel. 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 overall dark look of the movie is perhaps created to hide Ehrenreich's lack of resemblance to Ford - or maybe it's just to evoke The Empire Strikes Back, the darkest and most popular film of the franchise's original trilogy.

But where, and how? Worse yet, the first two-thirds of the picture look dim and murky, as if it had been shot through a scrim of dust motes. But it's Donald Glover's Lando Calrissian and his droid compatriot L3-37 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge of Amazon's "Fleabag") who will become instant fan favorites from the supporting players.

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