FHubs and I got to attend an advance screening of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. It’s based off a French comic series originally published in the 1960’s and was titled Valerian and Laureline. The comic series influenced Star Wars so if you see this film and want to call shenanigans, you can’t.
I went into this with middling expectations. It’s a summer sci-fi blockbuster so the writing wasn’t meant to please all the nerds so much as put butts in seats. My expectations were definitely met. It’s a ‘Fate of the Furious in space’ type of deal with lots of action, an interesting premise, but weak writing.
I was not a fan of casting Dane DeHaan as the smooth, arrogant, ladies’ man Valerian. He looks permanently 15 so it was hard to take seriously. Cara Delevingne did a good job with Laureline considering she was very underwritten. I still feel like she was a bit young to take seriously as a federal agent. Was there no actress closer to 30 who could handle the role? I liked Rihanna’s character but holy crap did they not do enough with her either. The villain was obvious to the point where it almost felt lazy.
FHUbs’s summary was Douchebag and the City of a Thousand Special Effects. The city of Alpha was fascinating and incredibly well done. There are so many different civilizations and worlds there that it’s fascinating to think about. The Inter-Dimensional market was such a fun bit to film. The effects were excellent and the 3D was very tastefully done.
Because Valerian and Laureline is a series, trying to squish all of it into 2 hours meant some things weren’t done justice. I think to really flesh out this world, it would need to be a miniseries. Maybe if the film does well enough, that will happen someday. If you like the trailer, it’s worth seeing. Go be entertained and don’t think too hard if you don’t want the plot to fall apart.
Writing – 2/5
Casting – 3/5
Effects – 4/5
Overall – 3/5