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My expectations for Solo: A Star Wars Story were very very low. It doesn't help that this movie comes six months after the disaster of experiencing the Last Jedi. Like literally, I felt empty and dismayed of how much a failure that movie was after so much hype. Barely an expectation was had, save the need of wanting a damn fried Porg Disney! Or roast Porg. Or a double cheese Porg Burger. You'd think given how much money Disney has they could do that?! Just slap some chicken on a grill and call it a Porg! I'd eat it! Wait, that's what I actually did. *ahem* Anyway, yeah low expectations.
So when I heard of all the troubles Solo: a Star Wars Story had. Like literally anytime I paid any mind to it. It just felt like another negative story coming out of it. What expectation can one have with this one? Low very low. Like literally I felt like I was a masochist and going into this thinking this would be a mess like Fan4stic or a Michael Bay Transformer movie. It didn't help matters like I literally couldn't remember the last time I actually enjoyed a movie by the movie's director Ron Howard. I'm trying to think and honestly, the last thing of his I enjoyed?
It was Arrested Development. No wait, that's the easy answer.
Okay, it was Apollo 13 (1995). Yeah... That's a long time ago. Far far away than I imagined. So yeah my expectations were low. So much so I considered a video review. But I had to judge this film fair. I had to. So I went in with an open mind. To my amazement.. the "mess" this movie was is basically actually like the Millenium Falcon itself. It may have been a piece of junk, but it's got it where it counts kids.
The biggest problem I can say about this movie is there are two things made me roll my eyes. The first ten minutes (they had to put those damn dice in there didn't they? I'm expecting the dice to die a horrible horrible death in the final Star Wars movie of this new trilogy. That clinches it. The dice have become their own character and is the final kicker), and when Han first meets Chewie. I did not expect freaking subtitles. Subtitles suck out the fun when these two talk to each other. Course there's one other corny as fuck scene, but eh. That's the only point I'll actually strike from this movie.
Then.. slowly but surely I began to grin. Wait? I was digging the fuck out of this movie? No. No way! This movie was a mess. There were reshoots. There was problems. How could this movie be.. GOOD?!
And that's a pleasant surprise, this movie is good. Probably the best complete Star Wars movie we've gotten from Disney so far. Yes, I went there. How? How does one leave the theater enjoying the hell out of it?
Well, Alden Ehrenreich is freaking amazing as Han Solo. There are little parts he channels the character perfectly. Then again, I shouldn't be surprised. I freaking loved him in Hail, Ceasar! (2016) and he was just as amazing here. Like literally he carries this damn movie and does a damn good job carrying that swagger, smugness, and charismatic.
Of course, he's not the scene stealer of the movie. That's Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, who also nails his role to perfection. Like literally these two were perfect and you totally buy that these two will age and become Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams. Like literally, I kind of want another Solo (it sure as hell tried to bait us with one, but given the place Han is at the end of the movie. I just don't see it) or a Lando movie spinning off from this. Then again, I wanted a lot more Lando in the new trilogy (not so much now cause well.. yeah. He'll probably get killed cause that's where nostalgia dies brutally and coldly in that trilogy. I couldn't bear seeing that done to freaking Lando being played by Billy Dee again).
But yeah, all the cast just have amazing chemistry and just bounce off each other just perfectly. Each actor nails their role at the least, you get that yearning you want to see more of these characters (well same like Rogue One, but you had to know going in that one wasn't going to be a happy ending).
This is also a dark movie. There are so many elements that I'm glad are in here. There are aspects of this film were Howard channels his time when he did Willow (1988). Like literally one character just feels like a direct homage to two characters from that (and I won't spoil whom). Then there are characters of this dark world like Woody Harrelson's and damn Paul Bettany. Bettany and Josh Brolin got two damn good movies out this month alone. Emilia Clarke did a better job here than say being miscast horribly in Terminator Genisys (dammit I remember I saw that movie twice now). It's just that Thandie Newton did a damn better job and was kind of better. Harrelson is a good mentor character to introduce Han into this world. Kind of makes me want to learn more this damn character Harrelson plays given he's that good in the role.
This movie also rewards viewers of the "Expanded Universe" both Legends and current. You have references and appearances with payoffs you only see coming if you've been watching those. That said, those who haven't I can assume you'd be, "DA FUCK?!" And I get that. But given the era, Han Solo takes place in. It makes perfect sense as appearances that are had in this movie if you go with the established timeline. So it doesn't bother me at all. It just means it makes those entries more watchable because and answers those lingering questions one who haven't seen them (which if you haven't. Then you're missing things so much better than the Prequel Trilogy and Last Jedi combined).
Solo: A Star Wars Story is basically an actual complete Star Wars movie. The most complete of all the Disney films. You will leave the movie happy and gitty again. It's shocking how much fun I had with this movie. Not like this movie restored my faith in the franchise. That was the series finale of Star Wars: Rebels. This just added to that experience. It just goes to show anyone who watches this film. Maybe.. the stories themselves are the place to be. Cause they are so much better than the actual trilogy we've been getting. There are better characters here. Better villains. Better story arcs with better payoffs. Better moments.
Just that whomever they're getting for these stories? Get these people on the damn trilogies. Not for the love of Darth Sidious Rian Johnson! The fact he's getting a freaking trilogy still chills me to my Sith bones. Cause that's twisted and evil man. So yeah Solo: A Star Wars Story will surprise you. It surprised the hell out of me.
Just give it a chance. Cause it is so opposite of the Last Jedi. Save the damn dice, who are so going to die in the next movie. I'm calling it. The dice are going to sacrifice themselves to kill Kylo Ren. Like literally they're going to get smashed on his forehead. Just calling it as I see it. The dice will avenge Han. That has to be the goddamn payoff right?
4 out of 5*
*Yes, I know I ranked Rogue One higher, but when you have that Vader scene in it and it still is of my favorite scene of recent Star Wars lore. That's just not fair. Like literally that scene was made for me. They'd know I'd rate the movie higher cause of that damn scene. That scene alone just makes the movie worth it.
This? This was just a better experience altogether. The junky mess flies circles around the new trilogy. Now if you excuse me. I'm just posting this damn scene again. Cause goddamit.
Yeah, that's the good stuff. Gimme that glorious Sith action.