Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy


Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) Poster

A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

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6.5/10
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  • The Boulan Bathor from planet Goara have developed a society centered on food and gastronomic arts. To keep their palates stimulated, they have become experts in transforming their homegrown produce into feasts. The alphas of the species have ambitions and a sense of entitlement that complement their business sense. They use their economic influence to ensure that the right political decisions are made, particularly in terms of preserving their monopoly and elitism.
  • Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
  • Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
  • Cara Delevingne in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
  • Dane DeHaan in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

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Take a Trip to 'Valerian'

Immerse yourself in the world of Valerian with our guided photo gallery and the eye-popping "Director's Trademarks: A Guide to the Films of Luc Besson" original video.

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20 July 2017 | Radu_A
7
| Watch it - you won't get anything better this year
The Hollywood line-up this year doesn't provide anything remotely interesting. So don't let a shaky story-line, unnecessary dialogue and slightly hammy acting dissuade you from watching the most stunning visuals since "Avatar".

Based on 60s French cult comic series "Valerian & Laureline" - mystery to me why didn't they keep that title -, the magnificent opening sequence sets the tone for a more esoteric approach to Sci-Fi than "Star Wars". I won't let on about the story too much so as not to ruin any element of surprise. Let's just say they really should have lost the romantic chitchat. It makes the film drag at inconvenient times. With real writers, this could have become a classic.

The draw is the eye candy and there's plenty of it. Again I cannot in good conscience divulge any details. Again let's just say that one gets treated to the most creative use of lemons in the history of film. I'll have to watch it again to catch all the pop art references. Aliens were never more beautiful, more sophisticated, more varied. And while the Rihanna scene cannot compete with the opera scene in "5th Element", it's the best use of a performance act in film in years.

Alas, when one thinks "5th Element", the main weaknesses of "Valerian" stands out clearly: mediocre acting and a terrible script. Bloodless DeHaan is the most dreadfully miscast lead since Tom Hiddleston in "Kong: Skull Island". Why didn't they cast the likes of Theo James with over $200 mil to burn? Cara Delevingne is cool but no Milla Jovovich - Besson loved Jovovich for real and the camera and editing really showed that. Delevingne's Laureline comes across as a run-of-the-mill heroine even though she's doing a solid job. Clive Owen cannot even remotely compare to Gary Oldman's Hitleresque splendor. Strangely enough, the CGI aliens do the best acting and have all the memorable lines. Besson's script-writing has always been shaky but seems to get progressively worse.

Still, compared to this year's Hollywood fare of sequels, yet another superhero franchise and musicals with thespians who cannot sing, "Valerian" is infinitely more entertaining.

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Genres

Action | Adventure | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

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