PG-13 | 2h 15min | 23.5.2018 (EU), 25.5.2018 (USA) – SPOILER-FREE
Admittedly, it wasn’t love at first sight for this movie, although I’d never got enough of Han Solo even as a teenie, enjoying books like “Han Solo at Stars’ End”. Just the actor chosen for the title part… and then all this bad press beforehand, the troubles at the set and directors dropping out until Ron Howard came in to save the day – didn’t seem like a good omen. But then the first trailer …
And yes, I can tell you that this promising trailer reflects the overall result!
Alden Ehrenreich had already dispersed my doubts with his Hail, Cesar role, and his performance here is – HELL YEAH! Spot on! It only takes the first – full action – minutes that you believe he IS the young Han Solo! No idea whether he channels his inner Harrison Ford as dedicated method actor or whether those two men do have some mannerisms in common naturally, you will be 100 % convinced! A new star is born! (And any bet that even girls like me, those who don’t want to marry but to BE Han Solo, will feel smitten…)
An awesome performance is also delivered by the young Lando Calrissian, Donald Glover – he surely makes Billy Dee Williams proud! And this hilarious interaction with robot co-pilot L3 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), and those “robot/human equal rights” issues – I only hope the “too-much-into-it-interpretations” won’t escalate… The whole cast is doing such a great job, but let’s mention only Woody Harrelson as Beckett, Emilia Clarke (yes, Khalissi) as Qi’ra and Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos representing the whole crew.
And yes, there’s also Chewbacca, nowadays embodied by a Finn: Joonas Suotamo, who is not only continuing Peter Mayhew’s great work but even adding dimension. He – as Alden revealed in an interview – even developed “Wookie language” himself in order to make live-dialogues for them possible in front of the camera. Well, that wasn’t too big a surprise for me, I have suspected for a long time already that grunts and growls are the natural means of communication for male Finns… 😉
About the plot I reveal – NOTHING … well, a few things are explained, for example how Han got his name, his job in the Empire and how he and Chewie ended up as friends,plus this Kessel run thing. There are also some hints to Han’s family. A few things – like the Millenium Falcon story – should be well-known beforehand, but still there are lots of turns and twists and surprises, and insights, and gags, references (in the score too) and cameos you will surely enjoy as seasoned Star Wars fan. And some questions are still open, e.g. where does Han’s lucky charm come from?
Well, OK, a few scenes seem a bit too long, and a few others seem hectic to follow properly. But no indication what it was that went wrong during the filming – the story goes smoothly, characters have depth, no cringe-worthy dialogues (and ya know, we had some of those elsewhere)… Summing up, there’s no boredom or disappointment and you want to see more about Han, Chewie and Lando even after those 2:15 h! A worthy part of the Star Wars saga, and you definitely want to watch the movie again…
PS: Finally Han Solo has his own John Williams theme!