James and I went to see this today in the early afternoon at Nagano’s only multiplex theatre, which today was the best place to be as it was extremely hot outside. This film is titled “Han Solo” here.
I went into this not sure what to expect as there are mixed reviews around, and the talk about it being a box office disappointment didn’t help. But, as I walked out of the theatre later, I just didn’t care what was said about it. I thought it was very entertaining, maybe not quite as good as Rogue One, but it was still very worthwhile.
Ron Howard did a pretty good job of taking over the direction. There is a good article here explaining what went on with the change of directors. It sounds like Ron did things a lot more efficiently, and did things “the Star Wars way”. It mentioned that Paul Bettany took over from Michael K. Williams, who could not finish the film due to other obligations. All of his scenes had to be completely re-done with Paul.
Before seeing this I had read criticism of Alden Ehrenreich’s portrayal of Hana Solo, some saying that he was a bit wooden and didn’t capture the character well. Well, I disagree. I thought he did a pretty good job of it. No one could ever play Han as well as Harrison Ford did, but Alden was not a disappointment at all. He did a good job of recreating Harrison’s mannerisms, and Harrison himself gave his seal of approval to Alden.
Woody Harrelson was great as always, Emilia Clarke was stupendous, Danny Glover was fabulous, and I think Chewbacca had the most fun he has ever had in a Star Wars film.
Every Star Wars film needs a new droid character and with this one we got L3-37, a sassy female who loves equal rights for droids, and freeing other robots from slavery. She was very entertaining, and I would rank her as one of my top three fave’s (along with C3-P0 and R2-D2).
There were a lot of references to previous Star Wars films, they really packed them in this time. And everything you wanted to know about Han, such as how Han met Chewie, all about the Kessel Run, how he won the Millenium Falcon, how Han shoots first, and how he procured his blaster were all there and neatly explained. A lot of the back-story originates in the Star Wars comics and animated series, neither of which I have consumed. The story of Darth Maul prior to this film is long and very involved. This video explains it all.
Solo is a worthy addition to the Star Wars series, and I am looking forward to the sequel. As I said before, this was entertaining, and that is all that really matters to me when it comes to this kind of film.
Something that you will notice when going to a film in Japan is that the audience is completely quiet throughout the whole film, no matter how exciting a scene may be, or how funny a joke is…perhaps a quiet titter from those brave enough to make a sound. Another thing you will notice is that most of the audience will remain in their seats until the very end of the film. They all sit there quietly and just read the credits, no talking at all. Even the theatre lights don’t go back on until the film has finished and the screen has gone black. Yep, going to a film in Japan is quite different. The theatre though is perfectly clean both before and after a session.
Film count 2018: 45