Movie Breakdown: Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets

July 19, 2017


Pre-Screening Stance:

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets looks like Luc Besson trying to reproduce what he did with The Fifth Element, and that’s totally fine by me.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Right from the start, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets feels like The Fifth Element mixed with Guardians of the Galaxy.  David Bowie’s Space Oddity blares as you watch as the International Space Station slowly grow into an enormous, quirky hub for beings from all over the universe to gather at and share knowledge (hence “The City of a Thousand Planets”).  This is where the Guardians comparison ends though, as the film ditches that vibe, cues up The Fifth Element and shows a planet getting destroyed before introducing its two main humans – Major Valerian (Dan DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne).  Unfortunately, once they’re in place it doesn’t take long before you start to realize that Valerian is missing the memorable characters, the charm, the attitude and the heart that The Fifth Element is loaded with from top to bottom.  This is mainly due to the fact that DeHaan is no Bruce Willis and Delevingne is no Milla Jovovich.  In general they’re both so flat in regard to their line delivery that it’s rather distracting, plus they just have no real chemistry at all.  I can’t say it’s entirely their fault though, as Luc Besson does provide them with some very cringe-worthy, teenager-like pieces of dialogue.  Speaking of Besson, if there’s anything he 100% nails, it’s the world of Valerian.  It’s an immensely interesting, colorful place that he’s built, and you can expect it to dazzle you.

At the end of the day, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is an alright film with a imaginative world that’s – sadly – filled with a lot of forgettable characters.  Is it worth seeing?  I think so, especially on the big screen, but I would definitely keep your expectations in check.

One Last Thought:

Rihanna is in this movie and I liked her part – even though it’s essentially Diva Plavalaguna (from The Fifth Element) as a dancer, but ultimately she is wasted.  Someone needs to get that talented woman a good role.


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