Ehrenreich's Han is a handsome scallywag and cute no-goodnik who is oppressed like everyone else on a tyrannised planet. However, he is desperate to get away. As Han's morally compromised love interest, Q'ira, Emilia Clarke earns her paycheck nearly immediately when Han mentions a stolen spacecraft and, with a delighted purr, she asks: "Why?"
Young Han is scrappy and overconfident and makes things up as he goes along, unafraid to lie or trust his gut. Four movies in less than three years is a lot of celestial battles. Han begs to join their group. This is how Solo was before the galaxy chewed up all the youthful optimism he had about life and spit him back out. But that's all that Solo: A Star Wars Story is: good.
It's the overriding issue with "Solo: A Star Wars Story", which had baggage from the get-go. The switch was made mid-production due to creative differences with LucasFilm. That would lead you to believe that this film could be a massive train wreck. The Mouse House later chose to move forward with a new trilogy and a series of stand-alone pictures set in the "Star Wars" universe. Well if he did, then it worked. His "no bullshit" attitude is what makes Solo work. "It's Casino Royale to Han Solo's James Bond". I don't have a bad feeling about Solo: A Star Wars Story. In fact, it felt more muddled than before. Most importantly, Han has his first encounter with the prototypical Allied resistance against the Empire. Another amusing moment features the two having a shower scene together. Anyway, Joonas Suotamo seamlessly blends his performance with that of Peter Mayhew in the previous films and the end result is a great treat for Chewbacca fans. Glover instantly enlivens the movie, managing to simultaneously pay homage to Billy Dee Williams' characterization while mildly spoofing it. But like Ehrenreich, he still manages to put his own unique imprint on the character. I actually think Glover could carry such a film. The rest of the cast is very strong though. Phoebe Waller-Bridge has an entertaining voice role as Spartacist droid L3-37. Even a Star Wars version of poker plays a significant role. Her bond with Lando in particular is both hilarious and daring and will surely provoke many conversations. Yes, you heard that right. It throws up a gallery of characters that are attractive and intriguing in equal parts. If I say any more, the spoiler police will come after me.
Like all "Star Wars" movies, there will be those who will absolutely love this movie, and there are certainly things to enjoy about it. Planets and characters from the prequels are mentioned. However, there may be one where it leaves those same fans conflicted.
But no matter: He's appealing anyway, and that's key to any pleasure you might draw from Ron Howard's wobbly foray into the Star Wars sidebar universe. As for the music, it was well done. I give it a solid "Meh." and 2.5 out of 5 stars. Solo is technically a Star Wars movie, but it's one that has set pieces in place of a personality. There are gorgeous moments when the Millennium Falcon flies the Kessel Run. They naturally get involved in all sorts of hijinks, before concluding with a bunch of hints as to the man Solo will eventually become. I realize they need to accomplish a lot in a short time span, but some of it feels really rushed and some of the reveals seem forced (no pun intended).
While we still have to wait for the public to see Solo: A Star Wars Story, the critics have seen it and it looks like many of them like it. You can see a little bit, but it's certainly not almost as egregious as Justice League, the new gold standard of Frankensteined blockbusters.
I won't spoil where it goes from there, but rest assured numerous plot beats are easy to predict if you're at all familiar with Star Wars lore, though the movie does indeed save a couple of big surprises for its third act.