Han’s the Robin Hood renegade rescuer in a dark side double-cross in this delightfully high speed, Star Wars-style action story staring the lovely Alden Ehrenreich. There’s only one problem, he’s not Solo.No lack of star power, this film, rescued by all-star director Ron Howard plays like a sci-fi western Mission Impossible Bourne Identity Star Wars mash-up staring favorite faces from film and TV hits like Avengers, Hunger Games, Westworld, Atlanta (& Community), even Game of Thrones. Paul Bettany, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Donald Glover, and Emilia Clarke make Solo characters instantly recognizable and likable. The only distraction, which was also a major issue in Rogue One, is the Robot with too many lines bent on comic relief. Making her an advocate for Robot rights and a love interest for Lando still did not pay off or play as a necessary point in this Solo plot. Disney bankrolled this SW origin story hoping to draw millions of fans with these famous names.What’s in a name? Well, Harrison Ford IS Han Solo. His brusque, carefree swagger fresh off a construction set and into the believable bad boy cockpit of the Millenium Falcon has been winning the hearts of OG Star Wars fans since ‘77. He’s the heart-of-gold smuggler who always claims to be in it for just that: the gold. He’s the Cool Hand on the run who shoots first, sass talks the evil Jabbas of the space underworld, and gets frozen in carbonite.But now, the “I have a bad feeling about this” guy is all smiles and jeers, hope and helpfulness.
Sadly, this backstory romp escaping a tramp planet and into WWI conditions does not bring clarity to the Solo story despite run-ins with Glover’s suave Lando.New Han is all good guy, sweet smiles, protecting the girl, saving the people. Here the cowboy wanders war-torn planets of mud and ice and sand as lovesick slave turns good guy smuggler. Classic and entertaining, just not Solo.