I know, I’m kinda late with this one. I could have prevented you from watching this slugfest. I’m sorry. But, judging by the Box Office numbers, the only people that actually went and saw Valerian are Luc Besson’s family members and the stray cats behind his house.
I don’t get why Besson is hailed as this “big deal.” Once upon a time, the man made a movie titled The Fifth Element. While it wasn’t critically lauded at that time — I enjoyed it — it has since become a cult classic. That was 20 years ago. Since then Besson has been churning out one average at best movie after another be it The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, Arthur and the Invisibles and The Lady. In 2014, he helmed Lucy which stars Scarlett Johansson. Another AVERAGE as heck movie. So, why Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets had so much interest surrounding the movie, I have no idea. Perhaps people were hoping this would be his big comeback ALA M. Night Shyamalan.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based on the French comic series Valérian and Laureline. We follow special agent Valerian (Dane Dehaan) and his partner Laureline (Cara Delevinge), who are on a mission to retrieve a rare animal called a converter, from the black market, which then leads to a bigger mission which then leads to an even bigger mission involving saving a species of aliens. There are twists and turns that happen and mysteries that will unfold. None of which I cared for because the mystery is almost as boring as staring at a can of expired tuna. But also because I was too busy cringing from the HORRIBLE chemistry between our two leads, not to mention the TERRIBLE line delivery. I swear, when the movie ended, I immediately whipped out my phone and Googled, “Is Valerian a Star Wars Parody?” Nope. #punchme. Not to mention, my girlfriend shot me the, “why the f**k did you drag me to this sh*thole” look and gave me the cold shoulder for 7 hours straight. I would really love to give you more details on what this movie is about, but I honestly have no clue. Every movie needs subplots. Subplots that explore the world and the characters on a deeper level. These subplots usually tie in with the main plot of the film. In Valerian, some of the subplots are fun. However, most of them are nothing but an ugly case of diarrhea: stinks and should have been flushed down the toilet by a script doctor.
I don’t get it. Why on earth did Luc Besson think it’s a good idea to cast Dane Dehaan and Cara Delevingne as the leads? Were they the cheapest biggest names he could find? Did he believe that they would put butts in seats like Scarlett Johansson did with Lucy? Dane Dehaan is a good actor — check out Kill Your Darlings — but he’s no charismatic action star. In Valerian, he plays Valerian, a suave, cocky, badass soldier who gets all the ladies. He’s kinda like a hybrid of James Bond and Han Solo. Or at least, that was what Luc Besson was going for. Talk about an epic fail. I just don’t buy him as THAT guy. Him gloating that he gets to shag various hot women is like that scrawny loser at the back of your class screaming for attention. “HEY! I AM HOT! ALL THE LADIES LOVE ME.” Yeaaaaah, sure buddy, whatever you say. I don’t know how old Valerian is in the original French graphic novel but Luc Besson’s writing of this character would have worked better had it been played by someone like Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling.
It has become evident over her illustrious career, that Cara Delevingne has a specific skill set: looking hot and looking very hot. Here, she brings her “A” game once again, in that one scene where she rocked a bikini. Talk about method acting worthy of an Oscar. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about her performance in scenes in which she’s fully clothed. However, half naked or not, she’s much better than Dane Dehaan, in this movie. And that’s saying something.
Credit is given where credit is due, though. The visuals in Valerian are amazing. And I’m not just talking about the large action set pieces. Everything LOOKS great, right down to the tiny details. The creatures are well designed, the various planets, even more so. The aforementioned black market, which we get to explore in the first act of the film, made me go “WOAH!!” There is also a planet inhabited by Na’vi looking folk and it is also gorgeous. Alongside his longtime cinematographer Thierry Arbogast, Luc Besson has crafted one of the most beautiful looking, well-imagined films of the decade, maybe more. Unfortunately, a beautiful looking film does not equate to a beautiful film.
With that said, this is one of those films that will have a rabid fan base that will support this film to their last dying breath. Let’s just put it this way: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is like watching prolapse porno. It’s either for you, or it’s not. It’s definitely not my cup of tea. But hey, at least it’s better than Transformers: The Last Knight.
Hey, you! Yes you, hot stuff. Have you caught this movie (hopefully not)? Do you like it? Are you a fan of Luc Besson? Leave a comment below and let me know whatchu think.
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