Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets movie review contains spoilers
I want the fact that this has spoilers as clear as possible, also I have never even seen the comic this was based off of so I can’t tell you if its true to the source or not.
- Over all: 5/10, not bad but I won’t be buying it on DVD
- Plot: 3/10
- Visual: 5/10
- Soundtrack: 8/10
The plot of this movie is propelled by Major Valerian (Dane DeHaan) insisting he loves and cherishes Sargent Laureline (Cara Delevingne) while she continues to say he doesn’t. This is not a good way to keep the plot going, in fact it nearly made the movie unwatchable for me. The one saving grace was the multitude of amusing side characters, my favorite being Bubble (Rihanna). That being said outside of the interaction between Valerian and Laureline the rest is straight forward corruption, cover ups, and lies. There are parts they focus too much on and other times they could have shown something plot related (Laureline stealing a ship and going into the red zone) and didn’t, again all this did was annoy me. I didn’t go to this movie to see high ranking military personnel argue, debate, and track the main characters I came to see the main characters.
The ending also left something to be desired. Justice is served, the “villains” turn out to be victims, Valerian and Laureline help them escape certain death; and then the two humans are left drifting in space where they have a make out session while waiting to be rescued. Because that’s what you do when you might have committed treason, destroyed your race’s chance in staying in Alpha (the city where this is set), and have been fighting about immaturity, love, and other women; this make out session comes after a moment where Valerian wants to talk about his marriage proposal which Laureline finally answers with a maybe.
Visually this was an incredible movie, sometimes. The opening shots where beautiful, the wide shot of the virtual market was amusing, and some of the shots outside of Alpha were amazing. But they spent so much time in the over crowded station so most of the shots where of hallways, rooms (generally the mission control room), and small spaces. They took what could have been stunning and incredible and glossed over it to focus on two characters that were very hard to care about because they were both moronic assholes. When they did “explore” the station it was done while Valerian was running or in small portions with Laureline, this did not give the viewer any appreciation for what this station was supposed to represent, a coming together of nations and races to share knowledge and cultures in peace. They focused so little on what this station could have been, there was little whimsy or beauty within this movie, no one stopping to just look around for a moment so the audience could appreciate what was going on. There was one scene with Laureline stopping to admire these incredible butterflies before the relentless, forceful march of the plot kicked back into gear and the scene turned from “wow, look at that” to Valerian jumping from a cliff in an attempt to get hooked by the lure (a false butterfly used to capture humans for feasting) so he could save Laureline.
The soundtrack to me left something to be desired, it was ok but nothing I’d go out of my way to listen to again.
Laureline is touted as this incredible agent but her inability to do her job seems to be a driving force in one area and her extreme ability to do her job is the driving force in other areas. She is constantly somewhere between awesome bad-ass and damsel in distress; her head is so far up her own ass she can’t accept that the playboy Valerian has a past like everyone else. She verges on unlikable with her attitude and jealousy present most of the movie, even toward the end where she seems jealous of a dead woman who choose Valerian to help her soul find peace.
Valerian is supposed to be a playboy whose is good at his job, this whole story is kicked off by him being terrible at his job and he never seems to improve at his job as the movie goes on. He insists he loves Laureline at almost every chance he gets but when push comes to shove he has to force himself to trust her at the very end. These two should not be working together, should not date, and should not get married.