What to watch this week

Sci-fi ad­ven­ture. With Alden Ehren­re­ich, Woody Har­rel­son and Emilia Clarke. Direc­tor: Ron Howard. 10-12PG V.

YOU (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Many years be­fore the Re­bel­lion an im­pov­er­ished young Han Solo (Ehren­re­ich) is swin­dling for sur­vival on the planet of Corel­lia. His only dream is to leave with his girl­friend, Qi’ra (Clarke), and be­come the best pi­lot in the galaxy. But com­pli­ca­tions arise dur­ing their es­cape.

Three years later Han is serv­ing as an in­fantry­man on planet Mim­ban when he meets a gang led by Beck­ett (Har­rel­son) pos­ing as Im­pe­rial sol­diers. It’s dur­ing a prison stint cour­tesy of Beck­ett that he en­coun­ters a Wookie called Chew­bacca ( Joonas Suo­tamo). With no other way off the planet, the pair are com­pelled to join forces with the crim­i­nal syn­di­cate – the start of many swash­buck­ling ad­ven­tures.

Though pep­pered with the tongue-incheek hu­mour abun­dant in many mod­ern sci-fi movies, I found the film want­ing in other ar­eas. View­ers new to the fran­chise will prob­a­bly en­joy this stand­alone movie as, apart from the set­ting, ref­er­ences and a few char­ac­ters, Solo feels a bit re­moved from the Star Wars uni­verse.

The per­for­mances are laud­able – the witty di­a­logue is so well de­liv­ered it could work as a ra­dio se­ries – but the plot dis­ap­points some­what. Yes, the aim was to flesh out Han, but this par­tic­u­lar ad­ven­ture is lim­ited in pur­pose and punch. Still, a worth­while watch. – BUHLE-BETHU QATYANA

Alden Ehren­re­ich (left) and Joonas Suo­tamo are a young Han and Chewie in the Star Wars pre­quel Solo.

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