Saturday, July 22, 2017

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Plot: It starts with Valerian (Dane Dehaan) dreaming about the scantly-clad Pearl people, and how their paradise-like world was destroyed. Next Valerian and partner/love-interest Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are on a ship headed to a mega-spacestation. When we get there they are assigned to guard Commander Filitt (Clive Owen). Soon Filitt is kidnapped by the Pearl people. Valerian and Laureline go to rescue him, but along the way there learn things that lead to the final scenes. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Overall I liked it. It was imaginative with many creative alien races and different plot twists. The visuals were cool, and the banter between Dehaan and Delevingne was entertaining. It would have been better with a stronger performance from Dehaan who was never selling it -- too ironic. Delevingne was more in character.

There are many great moments pinned together with the bickering romance between Valerian & Laureline. I loved the introduction to the space station with dozens of countries and then alien people coming to join. Another highlight was the Rihanna's shoe-shifting dance sequence where she switches costumes and bodies over and over during a single song. There are also three duck people who are informants -- pretty funny. The opening scene with the Pearl people is imaginative with their sparkling skin and peaceful, happy life. Very much like the Na'vi in Avatar.

Valerian has no blood and only chaste kisses. There is a good deal of comic relief. It is lighter than most Marvel movies and all of the DC ones. The only place the lightness shows is the final battle which is only OK, but happily it doesn't go on forever.

Cast: Dane Dehaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen

Directed by:
Luc Besson

Written by:
Pierre Christin  based on the comic books by Jean-Claude Mezieres. 

The Music:
Actress Delevingne has a song on the soundtrack, I Feel Everything, that is not bad. The orchestral tracks are by Alexandre Desplat. The closing credit is a pop song that is good. Maybe "A Million on my Soul by Alexiane. 

The Visuals:
 I liked the Pearl people scenes especially the opening sequence. The Big Market was also cool. I liked the dance sequence with Rihanna too. 

3.0 stars:  I liked it even with the weak performance by Dehaan. 

More: Director Besson fell in love with the comic book Laureline when he was ten. Here is a quote from an interview in ColliderThe first woman I fell in love with was probably Laureline. She was totally free and badass and it was a very modern heroine at the time and I was totally in love with her. The guy was also very cool.   I love the relationship since the beginning and that’s what drives me more than spaceship monsters and all this. It was the relationship of the two. It’s really Mr. and Mrs. Smith in space, you know they’re joking, fighting. So that’s what drive me since I’m young is that I love this team. Because they’re cops, super cops, they travel in the space and time but they’re fighting all the time, they’re so human."

Even More: Cara Delevingne is a top fashion model in Britain




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