Film review: Solo: A Star Wars Story (4 out of 5)
This latest big budget spin-off from the Star Wars saga is probably best known for all the problems it's had to overcome along the way.
A change of directors late on, script changes and major reshoots are just some of the noises that came out of the camp.
But the bottom line is - is it worth seeing?
And the answer for any Star Wars fan is yes.
It’s 135 minutes of action with amazing special effects and it all slots in pretty well with the franchise.
Alden Ehrenreich plays the Hans Solo character and as well as looking a fair bit like a young Harrison Ford he manages to nail down the Solo mannerisms competently enough.
Woody Harrelson helps to provide some acting gravitas and Paul Bettany is a suitably bad enough villain (within the constraints of a 12A certificate).
We meet Hans at the start of the movie on a planet ruled by a despot who trains youngsters to steal.
He’s desperate to become a pilot and is trying to escape with his friend Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke).
After a series of adventures he meets up with Beckett (Woody Harrelson), a thief and a chancer who, with his team, are working for Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), a rather unpleasant character who has a short fuse and a strange facial condition when he’s angry.
Hans and Beckett try to steal some valuable fuel and their endeavours take us on a journey to various planets battling all manner of problems.
Naturally there are nods to the original Hans Solo storyline and we discover whether the boast of the ‘Millennium Falcon making the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs’ from the very first movie is true.
It was all very good seeing how Hans and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) first met, but I have to admit I wasn’t overwhelmed by the whole movie as I was with 2016’s other spin-off Rogue One.
But considering the trauma and tribulations this project has gone through, at least we have a decent adventure movie that will entertain the whole family.
Film details: Solo: A Stars Wars Story (12A) 135mins
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke
Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol