“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” Review

3 August, 2017

Director: Luc Besson
Screenwriter: Luc Besson
Director of Photography: Thierry Arbogast
Cast: 
Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen

Synopsis: Two agents operating throughout space as part of the human police force agree to a new assignment in a metropolis where creatures of all shapes and sizes are united by peace but threatened by the tyrannous rampage of an oppressive commander.

Valerian Review:

A treat for the eyes but a drain on the brain, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” is a clunky and oftentimes confusing fantasy epic with rich imagery merely distracting from Luc Besson’s inability to translate the complex through-line of a classic comic. Sweeping the dust off its source material and coating scenes in layers of gloss and sass, the film crosses galaxies, traversing multiple dimensions in a complacent and consistently irritating manner as Besson’s unwavering belief in the vibrancy and excess of cinema births an adaptation that alienates more often than it invites.

Accentuating his artistic gluttony through a ridiculously long film title, Besson arrives with the same old tricks he remembers from his glory days, brazenly burying “The Fifth Element” in the foundations of a similar story and hanging on for dear life as yet another feisty female and bewildered hero appear out of nowhere and head on a colourful, futuristic adventure. Referencing his own filmography and using Rihanna as the new Diva in blue, Besson becomes easily side-tracked in scenes too bizarre for their own good and heavily influenced by decades of bigger and better movies.


Commencing in the style of “Avatar” and slowly losing its way as the plot thickens, “Valerian” claims its own breed of Na’vi whose genderless voices and obsession with pearls makes for a strange predicament in an imploding universe. Scrolling through film history, “Valerian” seeps onto screen like the lovechild of a gigantic Sci-Fi orgy, flicking through the textbook of its genre and allowing “Star Wars”, “Blade Runner”, and “Dune” to remain firmly in the spotlight rather than in the footnotes where they truly belong.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Rating
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