Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story - The scoop and digest

Kathleen Kennedy obviously had a bad feeling about the second in anthology series, as original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were famously given the boot.

Enter replacement Ron Howard, who unsurprisingly, extensively re-shot running time.

Alden Ehrenreich - Han Solo
Emilia Clarke - Qi'ra
Woody Harrelson - Tobias Beckett
Joonas Suotamo - Chewbacca
Donald Glover - Lando
Thandie Newton - Val
Paul Bettany - Dryden Vos
Phoebe Waller-Bridge - L3

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....

No scrolling title crawl, but text informs that on the shipbuilding planet Corellia, crime syndicates fight for food, resources and much sought after hyperfuel.

Young Han and his lover Qi'ra decide to escape dead-end lifestyle by bribing an Imperial officer with coaxium.

Things don't go according to plan, as Han makes it, but Qu'ra is nicked by passport control.

A determined Han signs up for the Imperial Navy and because loner has no people, geezer adopts the surname of 'Solo'.

Three years later on the muddy battleground of Mimban, Han is enlisted by Tobias Beckett and his band of criminals to help re-imagine the Great Train Robbery on Vandor, which results in Beckett's better half Val committing suicide.

In between this, Han is fed to something nasty, but escapes with 'the beast' - a certain Wookiee called Chewbacca.

Beckett owes Crimson Dawn crime boss Dryden big time and on Kessel, Lando agrees to help steal a consignment of unstable coaxium, in exchange for a healthy share of credits.

Upon delivering fuel to Dryden on his yacht, baddie senses shit isn't the genuine article.

Did somebody give him intel?

Beckett you traitorous bastard.

However, Han is one step ahead of the game and Qi'ra kills Dryden.

She urges him to rescue Chewie from Beckett and now alone, lady pants contacts Dryden's superior Darth Maul.

Holographic projection reacts reasonably well to news of bungled mission and assures they'll meet very soon.

Insidious spin-off is yet to be officially confirmed.

Han kills Beckett and declines the offer from Rebellion founder Enfys to join motley crew.

Lando is tracked down by Han and Chewie, with the former winning second game of Sabacc and securing the Falcon.

Remembering what Beckett told him, Han and hairy friend make haste to Tatooine, where a gangster (Jabba), is planning something big.

Hollow

No risk and tension free, premise was largely a galactic bore, and the opportunity to serve up something different is spectacularly missed.

As it's an origins story, we know principal characters are going to survive.

That's fine, but at least make things interesting and not so incredibly predictable.

Harrelson wearing double-crossing trousers?

(Sigh).

Full of lousy one-liners and corny comebacks, script is terrible.

L3 attempting comedy made funny bone cringe and I couldn't wait for hunk of junk to be destroyed.

In terms of action, train heist, Kessel run and giant jellyfish attack vary in quality.

Put it this way, special effects impress more than set pieces.

Cornellia's ruler Lady Proxima is part of opening text, so you'd think water-dwelling centipede's contribution would last for more than two minutes.

Honestly, what's the fucking point?

Performances are a positive.

Bettany makes the most of villainous role, Ehrenreich is decent enough (less the swagger and charm) and Glover, who is red hot at the moment, shined relatively bright.

Refs to saga include Dejarik board game, Han's dice, R2 unit, Cantina, Teräs Käsi and even Rogue One's Scarif.

There's some good in every situation, and leaving door wide open for Darth Maul to walk through in probable sequel is something I'd entertain.

In the meantime, we hope box office flop hasn't doomed Boba Fett.

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