This story is based on a popular graphic novel that I have not read. So, I walked into the theater knowing little to nothing about the story, the characters or the worlds those characters inhabit. All I knew was that the movie was being advertised as the 3D film to see. The basic premise is that a growing threat needs to be stopped and two special agents are tasked with completing the mission and saving the galaxy. So, does “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” manage to conquer the day or is it doomed for disaster? Let’s dive in…
Luc Besson is known for making visually stunning films. As a fan of his previous films I was excited to see this in theaters. The marketing campaign said it was 3D event so I did end up seeing this film in 3D even though I am opposed to such nonsense. The marketing team was correct. This movie looks spectacular in 3D. The vibrant colors mixed with bizarre creatures inhabiting new worlds are all eye candy. Everything about how this movie looks is phenomenal. I walked out of the theater completely mesmerized. The visuals in “Valerian” are fantastic. If you are a fan of look over dialogue this is your movie.
The story was equally entertaining however the dialogue is terrible. The writers did well enough to create a worthwhile tale but then seemingly decided to apply minimal effort with how everyone communicated. The dialogue felt almost like this movie is geared for young adults and teenagers. It’s quite bad. In all truth, had the dialogue been adjusted to something more conversational to how people actually sound, this movie would have probably crushed this weekend in theaters. Sadly, it won’t and I feel the main reason for that is the poor writing. Again, writing for dialogue not story. Two different things but equally important to note.
The characters in this film were entertaining. While I did feel that Cara Delevingne was directed to act more 2 dimensional, to showcase thought over emotion, I could’ve used more believability in her thoughtfulness. Spock (from Star Trek) is a thought filled character but he is a character of depth. I feel we were also missing that here with her character. The three information sellers were a highlight of the film for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect when they first appeared but they won me over immediately. I enjoyed their characters very much. There’s plenty of characters, monsters and aliens in this film and at times it deals with some dark, adult themes, but overall it was enjoyable. Plus, for some reason, Rihanna has a random burlesque dance number that showcases her hotness, which was fine. I understand the point of her character and the pivotal role she plays in the overall story. I was just confused, albeit pleasantly confused, by the reason for the sexy dance number.
“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” is in theaters now! I recommend you see this movie if you enjoy visual spectacle films. The world building in this movie and the myriad characters inhabiting the worlds are equally fantastic. I continue to support Besson’s visual style and this film did not disappoint. Plus, the movie starts off with a David Bowie song which is nice. If your favorite time of year is Oscar season for complex films about humanity and the human experience, skip “Valerian.” You won’t get much from the characters. This movie is all visual and that’s ok. Variety is the spice of life and this film provides some spice. Check it out!