Today I had the chance to see Luc Besson’s new film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. It is an epic scifi fantasy film and I really enjoyed it. I’ve read other reviews with all kinds of criticisms and for whatever reason most of those critiques just didn’t bother me. I was thoroughly entertained while watching this film.
As you can probably tell from the trailer, the greatest strength of Valerian is the amazing visuals. Besson has created not only one beautiful world like they do in a movie like Avatar but he has created dozens of worlds and they are all beautiful. I was dazzled by the visuals in this movie. The pacing is also really strong as it clips along from one scene to another it doesn’t give you much time to focus on the problems.I particularly loved a sequence where there is a hologram market that is mixed in with a beach. The team is trying to hunt down an artifact and it switches between the hologram and regular world in very creative ways.
I wouldn’t say the story is the greatest thing ever but I found it unpredictable and fresh. Some have complained about the script but I thought it was fine. Some have complained about the acting but I thought it was fine. Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan have good chemistry and I thought they worked playing these investigators.
Rihanna has a brief but moving role as a exotic dancer/immigrant character. The visuals in her dance number were great and then she has to play off some emotion and I thought that worked.
I think what saves Valerian besides the visuals is it never takes itself too seriously. I am one of few who defended Jupiter Ascending but it definitely took itself too seriously at times. This film knows it is a light hearted lark through space and it owns that. I watched it with a big smile on my face from beginning to end.
It’s not a perfect film but none of the flaws stopped me from enjoying the film and having a great time. It’s not confusing like Warcraft or plodding like Independence Day Resurgence. It’s just a fun, scifi movie where we get to investigate a mystery in crazy places.
People love complaining about a lack of originality in Hollywood. Well, here is the chance to support something that is new, fresh and extremely creative. You might not enjoy it like I did but I think you will be glad you took a chance on something new. I am sure glad I did! I can picture this film becoming a bit of a cult classic but don’t wait for that. See it now!
Overall Grade- B+
As far as content there is a stripper scene and some mild violence but it is pretty tame.
8 thoughts on “Valerian Review”
Would you say worth checking out in 3D?
And if you had to see only one film in theaters, would you see this or War for Planet of the Apes?
I actually saw it in 2D although I’m sure 3D is awesome.
The next question is really tough because they are so different. I would say for you see Valerian. Apes is such a bleak and sad film and since you werent that into Dawn I dont think you will love it. Also I dont think the experience will be that different on Apes at home where I think Valerian should be seen in theaters
Awesome! I was excited by the trailers but really disheartened by all the negative reviews. I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to visually interesting films (even Warcraft and Resurgence), so if you enjoyed it, I hope to as well. Best seen on a big screen, I assume?
Definitely see it on big screen! If you liked those I’d bet money you’ll like Valerian
Yes, yes, yes! Finally another positive review of “Valerian!” I was beginning to think I was the only one on the planet who actually liked the movie. The visuals are so incredible and there are the coolest original ideas too (like the hidden market, I’ve never seen anything so inspired before). I agree with you — people need to stop complaining about a lack of originality if they refuse to go see creative sci-fi like this. Great review by the way!
You are not alone! It bums me out that people arent even willing to give this a try
Yeah, I can’t figure it out! I’ve heard lots of negative comments from people WHO HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN THE MOVIE. It’s like they all have their minds made up that they’ll hate it, then when they do eventually see it, they are determined to think it’s crap. Blah! If you love film as an art form and fun sci-fi, it’s a blast.
Everyone I know LOVES this film. I’m convinced bad reviews scared people away. Shame. It’s really a fun film.
For anyone that wants to read another positive take. I’m even more effusive: https://fastfilmreviews.com/2017/07/28/valerian-and-the-city-of-a-thousand-planets/