In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha—an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
What We Thought:
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets was a major disappointment to me. Well sort of. None of the trailers made it look all that great to me, but overall I like Director Luc Besson’s resume. I was hoping it was going to be more like The Fifth Element, but unfortunately it’s closer to Avatar or John Carter.
A comparison to Avatar probably sounds good to most people, but I didn’t think much of the James Cameron film. To me it was all visuals with a ridiculous story. That’s a good description for this movie as well, all visuals, ridiculous story. The humans of Earth are terrible people who destroy everything and other people and the peace-loving creatures of other planets are so much better. I get it, we suck, it doesn’t mean I want to see it in every sci-fi movie at this point.
Besides the story there is no chemistry between the leads Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne. I tend to like DeHaan, but Delevingne is more a model than actress. I didn’t like her in Suicide Squad and didn’t think much of her in this. You can tell they were hoping DeHaan’s Valerian would be a Han Solo type character with charisma, but none of it worked for me.
There were some visuals that were cool, I’ll give it that, but I’m not a huge fan of CGI backdrops and fake sets. Most of the alien characters were all CG and just didn’t do much for me. Then there’s the Rihanna dance/strip scene. That was laughable to me. Others seemed to like it, but I’m not a Rihanna fan so it did zero for me.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will do big money overseas, but I don’t see it doing much in the US. The comic series isn’t super big, but they have made movies based on lesser known series. The effects are ok, but I wish the story and acting did the rest justice. Go see Dunkirk this weekend instead.
Cast & Crew:
- Dane DeHaan
- Cara Delevingne
- Clive Owen
- Director Luc Besson
- Ethan Hawke
- Herbie Hancock
Recommended If You Like:
- John Carter
- The comic the movie is based on