Special Operatives, agents Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), are assigned to retrieve an invaluable item. During this mission, they soon discover a new major threat against Alpha and also the whole universe. This film is directed by Luc Besson, who is best known for his work with another sci-fi film, The Fifth Element, which surprised many back in 1997.
Like the film “The Fifth Element”, Director Luc Besson once again delivers incredible CGI and a green screen filled film, showcasing a new (and yet massive) universe. I had the honour of watching this on Blu-ray and I must note the audio and visual work are all stunning. I found many of the creative aspects of this film rather enjoyable.
The characters Valerian and Laureline on the other hand, I found very challenging to enjoy. Given the film’s duration, the film is heavily focused on these two characters who don’t feel real. They continue to talk about marriage, but at no point could I actually accept the romance that these two speak about. This is only one example of how the characters are difficult to believe. Another aspect I struggled with was the concept that these young characters are the best of the best that this universe can offer. This is questionable to me.
The film has many exciting cameos by well-known actors, but each time we were greeted by their presence on screen, their characters are rather wasted and feel like a forced addition to the film because … well, because they are a well-known actor.
Overall, Valerian And The City Of Thousand Planets has left me feeling rather disappointed considering the film’s major costs and total budget. While the effects and visuals are stunning, the film’s characters are challenging to accept and at times become painful. Quirky one liners spouted one after another all throughout the dialogue will also cause audiences to question if they can actually commit to watching this film from start to finish. Famous actors will surprise you, but their presence on screen but will also disappoint. There is more to a great film than amazing visual effects and crazy creatures.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden