Tuesday, 22 May 2018
'SOLO': THE AFICIONADO REVIEW!
With his fine filmmaking pedigree and a track record of crafting satisfying and diverse movies across all genres, alongside his prior friendship/historical ties to George Lucas, I had no fears that Ron Howard would deliver a solid and satisfying adventure in the STAR WARS universe. But Solo: A Star Wars Story is so much more than that- it's a genuine triumph and a job truly well done, extremely well done, by the director, his fine acting ensemble, and a superb behind the scenes group. Full of big-screen thrills, drama, danger, a swirl of romance, and BIG surprises and revelations, the film is a lovely counterpoint to the often grim events of 2017's The Last Jedi and 2016's Rogue One. Simply put, Solo is a lot of fun- a hyperspace jump full of it!
Woody Harrelson commented in a recent interview that he thought the Solo script was terrific, and it certainly is- the Kasdans deliver the storytelling goods: fast moving, full of great characters and incident, with a fine grasp on their favourite character of Han Solo and the genesis of his relationships with Chewbacca and Lando. Such exemplary material proves a great blueprint, but its enhanced through Howard's assured and confident camera lens, and via an equally stellar cast, all uniformly excellent throughout, of which up and coming Alden Ehrenreich is a fine prequel successor to Harrison Ford. Ford IS, and always will be, Han Solo, as producer Gary Kurtz once remarked in the seventies, but Ehrenreich captures the same likeable, reckless, endearing, mad and spirited qualities of the character, alongside more of a wounded soul with sorrowful eyes at the start of Solo's original journey from the absolute depths of the now legendary industrial world of Corellia. Donald Glover is a scene-stealer as the smooth yet gutsy Lando, in ways in which Billy Dee Williams will be proud, whilst Joonas Suotamo as Chewie is perfect, clearly working hard to make sure his interpretation of the Wookiee matches what Peter Mayhew once did- it still rankles AFICIONADO that Joonas's name was not properly given a credit on the singular movie character poster.
As expected, the effects and sound design are first rate, with John Powell's music fusing well with John Williams classic material and his new theme for Han. Plus so many great moments for Classic and Prequel fans to enjoy and spot in the movie- I loved the further referencing back to the classic Marvel comic books and Expanded Universe, now given official filmic reality. Above all else, Solo surely captures the beloved STAR WARS feel that the general public will appreciate, and especially die-hard fans who were more than a little upset by the developments of The Last Jedi. A sequel to Solo, continuing to link the pieces in towards A New Hope, would be great to have- let's hope this new anthology film's fun and warmth of heart tome finds its audience at the box office, and that Ron Howard continues his input with the franchise and the Millennium Falcon's crew somewhere, somehow.
Go see it!
AFICIONADO RATING: 4.5 out of 5
With thanks to Disney UK for the advance screening ticket.