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Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets Review (No Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Movie Reviews' started by StryGuardian, May 6, 2018.

  1. StryGuardian

    StryGuardian Founder
    Staff Member

    Sep 11, 2017
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    I've admitted to Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets being the biggest film disappointment for me in 2017, and I know this film is a little too old for a proper review like this, but I just need to vent my frustration with this awful, poorly-scripted travesty.

    It all began with promise

    The film opens with a nice montage of different aliens joining the space station that forms The City of a Thousand Planets accompanied by David Bowie's Space Oddity. For those unaware, The City of a Thousand Planets is basically the International Space Station. However, in the movie, the space station continued to accept new nations, planets and alien species far into the future, until the station grew too large to remain in Earth's orbit and was pushed out into space. There, it continued to grow until the station itself was nearly planet sized.

    Valerian follows the exploits of the title character (Major Valerian) and his partner, Sergeant Laureline. Who they are and their purpose in this universe are largely ignored in favor of a contrived story involving an alien race of "pearl people." Much like the opening montage, the brief glimpse of the "pearl people" that opens the movie proper had potential to lead to something interesting. Unfortunately, that was not the case.


    It all goes downhill with the introduction of the main characters

    Sadly, once the "pearl people" segment has ended, we are introduced to our leads. The dual groans of my wife and I were deafening. The two leads have no chemistry, their acting is atrociously bad and their introductory scene (like many of their later scenes) is filled to the very brim with camp. Including, but not nearly limited to, the trope of the fake "sexy fight" the film forces us to endure. The "sexy fight" is an old trope where the male and female leads have some sort of physical, but not too physical, wrestling match in which the moves and poses are horrifically over-sexualized and induce endless amounts of cringe. You know what I'm talking about.

    From there, the film never recovers and is a downhill race to the bottom. The plot is paper thin and generally acts as only the smallest bit of glue holding the different scenes of the film together. The acting ranges from awful to serviceable and the only reason the film seems to exist at all is to give animators a reason to create somewhat cool effects and an interesting world. It's a shame that director Luc Besson chose to do nothing with them.

    Since this review is spoiler free, I will not go into any detail regarding the rest of the film's plot, except to say that it is all over the place in terms of tone and quality (though the quality tends to remain extremely low). The characters are lifelessly acted, have zero depth and are actually generally unlikable. You never feel invested in the story, nor do you want to be. It wasn't long before my wife and I were simply counting down the minutes until the film was over so that we could never watch it again.

    I have no familiarity with the French graphic novel that birthed Valerian, but judging by this film, I don't think I'm missing out on much.
    Yolandis likes this.
  2. Yolandis

    Yolandis New Member

    Sep 24, 2017
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    The books are cheesy but great. The movie is another story. I definitely agree the two main actors in Valerian were pretty damn bad.
  3. Fastablend

    Fastablend New Member

    Sep 16, 2017
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    Spot fucking on dude! Sorry for being vulgar but that is the best way to sum up this shitstorm of a movie.
  4. Dincy

    Dincy New Member

    Sep 17, 2017
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    I'm really glad I skipped on this one. I was supposed to go see it at the theater with a group of friends but we switched to Dunkirk at the last minute. We made a wise decision.