Solo: A Star Wars Story: B
Let's face it, Alden Ehrenreich has VERY big shoes to fill. He's cast as young Han Solo in the titular character's origin story, and on the surface, he does an adequate job of it. "Solo: A Star Wars Story" is directed by Oscar-winner Ron Howard ("A Beautiful Mind," "Willow"). Does he look like Harrison Ford's Solo? Not much, until he gets a big Cheshire Cat grin on his face and you might think they're related.
We first meet up with Han living a meager existence much like Dickens' Artful Dodger. He's a young guy among many young urchins, working for a not so nice Lady Proxima. She takes in urchins and expects them to deliver. When Solo runs afoul of his "benefactor" and some other people he's no fan of, he's instantly on the run and looking for his next deal, but he's not alone. He and love interest Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) want the same thing — to be together and off that planet, and what you may notice is there's a lot more kissing in this film than any of the other previous "Star Wars" films combined, but there's a suitably substantial amount of action, most enjoyable how Han and the Wookie Chewbacca become partners, what really happened on that Kessel run and how Lando Calrissian (man of the moment Donald Glover) is a man of capes and charm. Lando's droid/pilot L3-37 is a wholly original character who's ready to lead a "Rise of the Machines" rebellion and provides some entertaining banter. There's also the Millennium Falcon. In the original "Star Wars: A New Hope" Princess Leia remarked, "You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought..."
As this review is spoiler-free, you'll just have to think about this — "How did it get that way?" As a whole, the film was certainly enjoyable. Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan do a capable job with the script. It's not bland, but it's not very sentimental either. To be sure, the original films weren't overly filled with it. This film and "The Last Jedi" get demerits for the inclusion of some modern 21st-century colloquialisms that make it seem less like a galaxy far, far away. On its own, it's a solid summer popcorn film. Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton and Paul Bettany also star.