Solo: A Star Wars Story [2018] ★★★

It was never going to top “Rogue One”, the Star Wars spin-off that left everyone (including me) pleasantly surprised, but “Solo” is the kind of summer blockbusters that has all the right ingredients to entertain its target audience. Unlike every film since “The Force Awakens”, this one actually plays it safe, perhaps a bit too safe. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I never expected it to dig deeper into the Star Wars mythology. Instead, I wanted it to entertain me, and I got all of this and more, in a movie that clocks in at 135 minutes but never feels too stretched. You can think of “Solo” as an old-fashioned space adventure that doesn’t take itself too seriously (think “Indiana Jones” kind of fun). I’m telling you all this so you’d avoid having higher expectations. Being one of my favorite characters from the original saga, I was happy to see Disney tackle a standalone Solo story. Alden Ehrenreich wouldn’t strike you as the ideal actor to play him at first, but he has enough charisma to carry it through. And as you might have guessed, the movie basically takes place before the events of “A New Hope”, where Solo was still a young pilot with no true sense of direction. This is where he’ll meet his future copilot Chewbacca as they embark on an adventure that will set the tone for the rest of the saga. Nothing deep or phenomenal here, but there’s a lot to admire and enjoy, especially if you’re a fan of Han Solo. I don’t think it will ever resonate the way the original trilogy did, but it does have broad audience appeal and that’s what matters the most. “Solo” is light and fun, a solid addition to the Star Wars movies.

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