If you take into account what a mess the production for the film was – then Solo has turned out to be pretty good to be honest.

Alden Ehrenreich proves to be an infectious lead filling the younger boots of Harrison Ford’s beloved intergalactic smuggler Han Solo – in this second spin-off ‘A Star Wars Story’ adventure after Rogue One.

Despite its underwhelming opening worldwide, which proves even movies linked with Star Wars are not guaranteed a jaw-dropping box office run (was it too soon after The Last Jedi? Was there too much competition with Avengers and Deadpool 2? Did the stigma of the messy making of the film have an impact?) this is still an enjoyable sci-fi actioner that feels like it belongs in the franchise canon.

Throw in a few exciting action sequences with the Millennium Falcon – combined with able support from Ehrenreich’s co-stars – and this does far more rights than wrongs.

Said able co-stars come in the form of a young Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), Han’s love interest Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), and roguish mentor Beckett (Woody Harrelson) – along with compulsory robot entry L3-37 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) who continues the success of notable droids in Star Wars lore.

But despite all these tidy ‘fanboy’ nods, the story itself is fairly by-the-numbers stuff as Han, Beckett, Qi’ri, Chewie and co have to enlist the help of fellow smuggler Lando, to deliver some precious cargo to Paul Bettany’s ruthless crime lord Dryden Vos – who works for the mysterious crime syndicate Crimson Dawn.

There’s also a really unexpected must-see fan cameo connected to the group – which won’t be spoiled here.

But despite this being arguably one of the weaker entries of the ten live-action Star Wars releases so far, there’s still a likeable ‘bright and breezy’ nature to the film, which makes it magnetically watchable throughout.

It may not quite be the Solo movie we could’ve been hoping for after Rogue One proved how sensational a standalone Star Wars movie could be – but Han’s blaster still mainly hits with Greedo-like precision for the most part.

And credit must go to Oscar-winning director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) for saving it from potential disaster – and providing an entertaining solo space yarn to boot.

Gavin Miller [youtube id=”jPEYpryMp2s” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Paul Bettany, Thandie Newton, Joonas Suotamo and the voices of Jon Favreau & Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Running Time: 2 Hrs 15 Mins

Director: Ron Howard

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