The Joxer Film Review of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets..
Written and directed by Luc Besson [Lucy,Fifth Element,Leon] and starring Dane DeHaan as Valerian and Cara Delevingne as Laureline,Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets [which idiot thought of that title?] is a film based on the French sci-fi comics series Valerian and Laureline [see,much easier film title there!] and has a reported budget that will make your eyes pop out of your head.Somewhere in the region of 200 MILLION Euro’s was spent on this..!
A quick plot rundown for all it’s worth..
A space station orbiting Earth in modern times,slowly but surely evolves and is released into the cosmos to become a thriving metropolis with millions of intergalactic species living on it in the 28th century.We see all this happening at the beginning of the film to a wonderful accompaniment of David Bowie’s Space Oddity which is an extraordinary visual array of FX coming off the screen at you from all angles.
The next thing we know,we see an alien species living a peaceful life on a vast tropical planet and watching their planet being destroyed by an unknown space catastrophe,which turns out to be a dream visioned by Valerian,a member of the human police force [you keeping up with this?] who is then sent on a mission with his partner Laureline to investigate and retrieve something called a “Converter”,a mysterious creature that just happened to be in his dream.Is his dream real life or just a fantasy?
it’s time for Valerian and Laureline to find out the truth..
Time for the film review..
As films go,this one takes some beating for having one of the most annoying main characters in film history.Dane DeHaan as Valerian is someone you will never tire of smacking in the face with a stale Cornish pasty.He is annoying from beginning to end with his male chauvinistic,smarmy,slimy,sleazeball attitude to his opposite character of Laureline who really should have just punched him in the mouth at the earliest opportunity and left him to his own devices.There is no charm to him at all.He tries to be a kind of Harrison Ford,Humphrey Bogart type rogue space-cop but fails miserably to even get anywhere near their quality.He is awful,seriously awful,in a way that you want him to get the beating he thoroughly deserves.In no way,shape or form,should a character of this male chauvinistic twatishness be allowed anywhere near a silver screen,let alone a film with a budget as big as this.The hate flows strong for Valerian as he plunges headfirst into one gung-ho disaster after another without any thought for the consequences of his actions as he tries endlessly to get into her knickers..
On the other hand,the character of Laureline,which was ridiculously left off the film title is a joy to watch.Whether this is down to the odiousness of the male lead is open to debate but I felt that we could have easily have just done with her as the main lead in the film and just erased him from it completely.
Cara Delevingne is the glue that holds the film together.Her role as Laureline keeps the film afloat,although her banter with the aforementioned Valerian is weak,falls flat and feels forced as she tries to compensate for the utter fuckwit she has as her partner.If there is to be a follow-up to this then there needs to be more of her and less of him..
The film itself [if you ignore him] is actually very good.The FX are stunningly created,the CGI is beautifully done with exotic creatures in amazing costumes bursting forth off the screen in magnificent colour that shows where the money was spent on this film.
The action is fast paced,almost non-stop and unrelenting sequences that come at you with such frequency that it is hard to keep up with the pace of it all.
At times it tries to be a bit too clever for it’s own good.The scenes with Rihanna as a shape-shifting pole dance are not as bad as I feared they would be.David Beckham’s dreadful cameo in King Arthur is still unthreatened for worst of the year so far..
All in all,the film is an enjoyable space romp as long as you can control your growing hatred for anything that involves the main male lead.
Think of it more as an Indiana Jones In Space more than Bladerunner but without the charm of Harrison Ford’s main character as the “hero”..
the visual charm of the film is better than some of the quite weird and hapless casting..
Joxer Film Rating
4 stars [for the FX mainly]