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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Review

Written by Louie Fecou

Here’s the thing. This film has had a bad press since it’s release, and that’s going to put a lot of you off going, and if you are a sci-fi or comic book fan, that’s a shame because, honestly, this is not that bad a movie. For some reason, that I might figure out as I go, there’s not much love for Luc Besson’s latest flick, and I’m so stupid that when I went to the screening I seemed to have already decided that it was going to be bad, and for a movie reviewer, even an amateur like me, that’s a bad thing.

So let me say right off the bat, if you have any interest in the genre, you should go see this film. Sure it has problems, but so does every movie these days, and there is a whole bunch of stuff to like here. So I’m going to go against grain and focus on what i enjoyed. Luc Besson is a visual master, and there is plenty of evidence here to back that statement up. This film is visually stunning, there are designs and creations that are fun, exciting and original, the colour palate is exceptional and there are sweeping flowing sequences that are a joy to behold.




The story is also pretty easy to follow, there’s no tricky twists and turns in the plot, and that makes enjoying the visuals even easier. The alien creatures are great, there are some really funny set pieces, and the shape shifting Rihanna show is probably worth the price of admission anyway. The actors are all invested, and it was nice to see Rutger Hauer and Clive Owen back on the big screen.

Now, the downside that I have to point out, is the running time is about 20 minutes too long, and there’s just not enough story to keep you immersed, the two leads, Dane DeHann and Cara Delevingne, although great performers, seem mis-cast here and there is very little chemistry between them. I know that’s a huge problem, but if you can forgive that them take a chance and check this film out.




It’s daring, different and fun, and I really hope that it does better in Europe than it has in the US, or we simply won’t get films of this scale and vision in the theaters very often. And that would really be a shame.

Rating: 6 out of 10