Despite its rather troubled production, including the firing of its original directors, acclaimed director Ron Howard has successfully brought the next Star Wars anthology film to the glamorous shores of Cannes Film Festival on the 41st anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars film.
Solo: A Star Wars Story focuses on the iconic rogue pilot Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) in his younger years, as we see him engage with some milestone moments from the character’s history: his first love with Qi’ra ( Emilia Clarke ), meeting Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), obtaining the Millenium Falcon, making the kessel run in less than twelve parsecs, and his fateful gambling match with a smooth-talking Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).
So with all the fanfare, is the latest spin-off in the Star Wars franchise worth all the effort Disney has gone to?
The reaction to the film has overall been rather positive!
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw gave a glowing reception to to the film as “fun-fuelled entertainment”, which he described as a “glorious origin myth meet-cute to set up one of cinema’s greatest bromances: the stoic wookiee Chewbacca and the insolently handsome freebooting rebel pilot Han Solo.”
Bradshaw also praised leading man Alden Ehrenreich, stating that he “absolutely crushes the role to powder, swaggeringly reviving the memory of the young Harrison Ford’s romantic gallantry.”
Empire Online agreed that the Han-Chewie relationship was the real heart of the film, commenting that “watching Han and Chewie’s relationship develop is one of the movie’s biggest joys.”
Overall, they found the film to be a “A bright and breezy sideshow adventure makes up for its overly frantic pacing with a charismatic central turn from Alden Ehrenreich.”
Meanwhile, IndieWire was pleased with how it fitted in with the rest of the Star Wars canon, for “it’s not as dark as the franchise’s other standalone film, the satisfying and sad “Rogue One,” and even without lightsaber battles or Jedi or anyone aligned with the formal Rebellion, it still captures a humor and pace “Star Wars” audiences expect.”
Collider saw it as much more average, saying “it’s a film whose base level is “fine”. Despite some unique cinematography, Ron Howard’s direction is staid, stolid, and completely without personality.”
Vulture said ” Solo: A Star Wars Story hits all its marks except the one it needed to hit most: accounting for one of pop culture’s most cantankerous charismatics.”
The main criticism seeming to be the warmth of Solo that is portrayed, saying “maybe in the next Solo film — there will be another, sure as shootin’ — he’ll become the Bogart-like cynic we met at the start of this whole saga, but something is lost when a prequel negates a character’s essence so firmly.”
Let’s just say that Slate slated the film for being “”a corporate directive made flesh, a quarterly earnings report in a vest and black leather boots.” Ouch.
The formulaic nature of the film seems to be what Rolling Stone wasn’t keen on either, describing how “Howard and the (screenwriting) Kasdans play the series game without ever raising the stakes, defaulting to dull and dutiful when they might have blasted off into creative anarchy.”
So it seems that best case scenario, it’s a fun chapter of Star Wars mythology.
Worst case scenario, it’s a little been-there, done-that.
The Mirror’s verdict
Finally, our very own Chris Hunneysett praised the film as “swashbuckling” and an “action-packed sci-fi adventure which rockets along with a determined sense of fun.”
It has our endorsement!
Solo: A Star Wars Story will be released in cinemas on May 24 in the UK and May 25 in the US.
Let us know in the comments below if you’ll be seeing Solo: A Star Wars Story.