So after driving for 4 and a half hours in a storm, going to a film festival that didn’t even have my name listed as one of the finalists, and then spending 40 minutes out in the rain while they set things up in the tiny theater, only to have the judge pick his BFF as the winner, I decided to go check out that new Star Wars film that seems to be pretty unpopular with critics and fans alike.
But not before finally pulling the trigger on buying the Shout Factory Collector’s Edition of Darkman I’ve been keeping my eye on. I was going to also buy Drag Me to Hell, but I was never the biggest fan of that film, so… I might still get it. The artwork looks great and I don’t remember ever seeing the director’s cut of the film.
Anyway, I won’t ramble on like I did for my Deadpool 2 review, let’s jump right into Solo!
Which is a terrible title, right? It’s so bland and generic, at least call it Han Solo. Will the Boba Fett solo film just be called Fett? Is the Obi-Wan Kenobi film just going to be Obi-Wan?
Obviously this film is about young Han Solo. I’m not completely sure where in the timeline this is taking place or how old Solo is in this, or how many years we are from A New Hope. As we first meet young Han, he is on the run from some gangsters. He has stolen a small sample of this super fancy fuel that can be sold for whatever kind of currency they use in the Star Wars universe.
Young Solo and his lady love Qi’ra… pronounced Kira I believe, played by the mother of dragons herself Emilia Clarke. I’m trying to think what the last film I saw her in was. Was it Terminator Genisys? It might be.
These two are obviously in love because that’s what the film tells us. They decide to take the stolen super fuel and leave the planet to go somewhere the Empire or gangsters can’t reach them.
Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned and the two are separated, Han joining the Empire to learn to fly and Qi… I’m just going to call her Kira, she gets taken off to live a life as a sex slave or something like that.
A few years have passed and the whole flight school thing didn’t exactly pan out since Han is now just another boot on the ground for another one of the Empire’s wars. While trying to survive in a battlefield, Han runs across Woody Harrelson’s character Beckett and his crew planning a heist. They have dressed themselves as Empire soldiers, Woody as a captain.
When Han spots their obvious disguise, he tries blackmailing them into letting him join their crew. But since Woody is dressed like a captain, he orders Han to be executed.
Stormtroopers toss Han into a pit and you guessed it, that’s how he meets Chewbacca. The only thing that keeps Chewie from eating him is because Han can speak a bit of Wookie.
The two team up and find a way out of the pit, finding Beckett and his crew stealing an Empire cargo ship.
Seeing that having a Wookie on the team might be handy, they let them come aboard.
Wouldn’t it kind of be better if Chewbacca was already apart of Beckett’s crew? Maybe he got captured and instead of them being there just to steal a ship, they are also trying to rescue Chewie. Maybe task Han with freeing him, he can join the crew if he gets him out.
I don’t really get Chewie, I don’t fully understand his motivations. He mentions having family he wants to get back to but instead of trying to do that, he just tags along with Han Solo for 50 years. Making Chewie already a part of this bandit crew makes much more sense.
Enough of my fanfiction.
On the crew is Beckett’s lady love Val, who you might recognize if you watch Westworld and this 4 armed troll guy. They have a plan to rob a train carrying super fuel to an Empire depot. The plan is to ride it and detach a train cart from the rail. But to do that, they need to blow the track.
The plan seems to be going smoothly until a gang of marauders show up, (space pirates) looking to steal the cargo for themselves.
After they kill their crew’s 4 armed pilot, Han has to step in and take the wheel.
The space pirates break a few of the cables to the train cart attached to Beckett and crew’s cargo ship. To blow the track Val has to sacrifice herself, blowing herself up with it.
Not being able to hold on to the train cart with the space pirates hanging on to the other end, Han has to snap the cables and drop the cargo.
This wasn’t just any kind of job. They were hired to steal the super fuel from a warlord of the Blue Suns… no, wait, I think that was the name of a gang from Mass Effect.
You know, a lot of this film kind of feels like it is coming from one of the Mass Effect games. It just has that feel to it. Anyway, since Han hitched his ride with these guys, he is a part of this now if he likes it or not.
Beckett wants to sit down with the head baddy Dryden Vos, played by Paul Bettany, aka Vision. His defining characteristic is his giant facial scars. It kind of looked like he had one mean tussle with an alley cat.
To Han’s surprise, he find Kira there as Vos’ slave… confidant… I’m not really sure what she is. Top lieutenant I guess. Also sex slave.
They have one more chance to make this right. Han comes up with a plan to steal some unrefined super fuel from the mines on Kessel. Vos likes the idea, but wants Kira there to supervise everything.
Now needing a fast ship to make the run, they head off to meet with Lando, a playboy two bit shyster that loves to gamble and wear capes. Oh does he love his capes.
Lando has The Millennium Falcon, claiming it to be the fastest ship in the galaxy. Han tries his best winning the ship from him in a game of… something. But Lando cheats, leaving Han empty handed.
But since Lando is a bit slimy himself, he sees a way to get his ship out of impound and make a few space bucks along the way. So Lando agrees to let them use his ship to make, you guessed it, the Kessel run.
The unrefined super fuel is incredibly unstable, so they need to get the shipment to a place to refine it as soon as possible. Thankfully Lando has his trusted robot L3, who Lando might be having sex with, to navigate the harsh terrain… in space.
The film is very dark and hazy most of the time and it’s that more obvious once we get to space, as I had no idea what was going on half the time. It felt like this was set in the DC Universe or something. A ton of blues and crushed colors, this film looks ugly as hell.
The crew takes the Millennium Falcon to Kessel, using Chewie and Han as slaves to offer the leader of this mine. As they are taken prisoner, Kira and Beckett make their way to where the security team is. Chewie and Han stage a breakout, L3 starts a robot riot and Kira kills the mine’s leader.
Chewie finds some other enslaved wookies and decides to free them, leaving Han to get the super fuel.
A giant battle ensues and L3 is shot and killed.
Now they are without a pilot… again. This seems to be a pattern whenever Han is around.
Now he must fly the Falcon through this impossible space terrain without any navigation. But we all know he makes it, he does so by dropping a bit of the super fuel into their engine. Sci-fi nitrous oxide.
They make it quickly to the planet they need to refine the fuel just in time, but are ambushed by the space pirates. They want the fuel for themselves. Not because they are bloodthirsty bandits, but because they want to start a rebellion against the Empire.
Han agrees to help them, with Beckett going against the plan, leaving them to deal with Vos on their own.
Han and Kira meet with Vos, only to have Beckett double cross them. But Beckett in return, double crosses Vos… so many double crosses! Once they take out Vos, Kira then double crosses Han… more backstabs than a telenovela.
So it turns out the big bad boss everyone was really working for was Darth Maul… who should be dead, right? By this time he should be cut in half. Unless this is going by the dumb cartoons which aren’t cannon to the films, so… what is going on? Is the only reason he is in this is so they can set up a rematch with him and Obi-Wan Kenobi in his shitty sequel solo film?
Honestly, I kind of really enjoyed this film. I don’t know what I was expecting. From all the troubles this had during production I was half expecting another Justice League or Fantastic 4. A giant mess of a movie with clear instances of several different directors stepping in and replacing each other. But it wasn’t really that.
It was a bit generic at times, it had these bullet points that it needed to hit and you could basically with easy predict everything that was going to happen. Yet I still found the film enjoyable enough that I could overlook a few of the film’s more glaring issues.
I loved Woody Harrelson in this, so much so that I wish the film was about him and Han Solo just happened to be a part of his crew.
Much like how Rogue One was a spy/war film, Solo is a heist movie mixed with a few dashes of western mixed in.
The biggest highlight was actually the actor who played Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich. After hearing the studio made him get acting lessons, I was dreading the worst. But he did a fine job.
I was also afraid there would be too many remember this from the other films kind of moments that Rogue One had. But really there weren’t that many. There might have been a few that flew over my head, since I’m not the biggest diehard fan of this franchise. But I have been warming up to it.
The film is shot relatively simple as compared to something like Rogue One that had some very beautiful shots in it. Solo is just kind of bland. It obviously has some old western influences, I don’t know why it didn’t show off more vistas, much like you’d find in a western.
Also like I mentioned, it just looked dirty. It was too dark, extremely hazy at points, so much so I wasn’t sure what was going on in some shots.
The film might have been a bit too long, maybe trim back on a few of the action sequences. Like the extended car chase scene at the beginning of the film, which seemed to go on forever. Maybe trim a bit from the train heist… I don’t know. It could have used a bit more human moments. Han talking with Beckett, maybe build a bit more of this “friendship” Lando and Han supposedly have. I never got any of that during the film.
We never did find out how the space pirate kept showing up ahead of Han and crew, did we? I honestly thought that Kira was working with them, helping to free herself from Vos, maybe help the rebels… that could have been the reason Han is so hesitant about working with the rebels in A New Hope, his lady love betrays him for the cause…
What we got didn’t make the most sense. So Darth Maul wanted Vos to steal from the Empire, which Darth Maul works for, so why? Why would the Empire want to steal from themselves? That whole thing doesn’t really make sense to me.
Unless Darth Maul no longer works for the Empire. Maybe he’s upset that the Emperor has a new BFF in Darth Vader, so he is lashing out at the Empire… Okay, there I go with my fanfiction again.
I give this a SEE IT rating. It’s worth checking out at the theater.
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