Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets' on SWITCHCast
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Joel interviews the MIFF team to find out what's in this year's program announcement! Click to listen to our special SWITCHCast ep now.x
review, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, Valerian, And, The, City, Of, A, Thousand, Planets, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Dane Dehaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke, Rihanna, John Goodman, Kris Wu, Rutger Hauer, Alain Chabat, Emilie Livingston, Luc Besson film rating

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

★★★

A LITTLE ARTIFICIAL

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
6th August 2017

Space - it provides film and television with countless creative possibilities. While science strives to prove that life exists outside of our planet, Hollywood has long utilised the universe as a launchpad for our wildest fantasies. In recent years, we've witnessed some incredible scenarios - from 'Gravity' to 'The Martian' to 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'. 'Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets' takes an ambitious stab at the genre - but is it worthy to stand alongside the modern space odysseys?

Major Valerian (Dane DeHaan, 'A Cure For Wellness', 'Devil's Knot') and Sergeant Laureline (Cara Delevingne, 'Suicide Squad', 'Paper Towns') are on a mission to rescue a one-of-a-kind artefact and deliver it to the titular city of a thousand planets, Alpha. Upon their arrival at the space station, however, things seem askew - particularly when an emergency leadership meeting sees the kidnapping of Commander Filitt (Clive Owen, 'Children Of Men', 'Sin City'). As Valerian and Laureline track down the perpetrators, they uncover some secrets which have been haunting Alpha, and must choose between their orders and doing the right thing.

SWITCH: 'VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS' FINAL TRAILER

Writer/director Luc Besson ('Lucy') has used the comic book series 'Valerian and Laureline' as his source material for this big screen extravaganza. The problem is, we've seen it all before: it was also a heavy influence on his 1997 hit 'The Fifth Element'. Countless times we whiz through futuristic cities in scenes that could easily have been lifted from his earlier masterpiece. The problem here, though, is that even with two decades of technological advances, Besson's concept hasn't, resulting in far too many moments of déjà vu. Worse still, these worlds seem far too artificial; with an unhealthy reliance on green screen, the aesthetics are so superficial and contrived, coming off as plastic and exorbitantly oversaturated. It's like taking in two hours of sugar consumption - a little is enjoyable, but the excess becomes unbearable.

Compensation comes in the form of the film's leads - DeHaan and (yes, believe it or not) Delevingne are without doubt its best assets. The former gets a turn at a new role: cocky, assured, even smarmy. It takes a while to acclimatise to, but it does work. This is also officially the first time I've seen Delevingne in a role which I have not utterly despised; in fact, she may be more enjoyable to watch than DeHaan. She plays well off his smug superiority, whilst bringing a strong and independent feminine tenacity - vital after her character's role is relegated to Valerian's sidekick and stripped from the 50/50 title share of the comic series.

Dean DeHaan and (yes, believe it or not) Cara Delevingne are without doubt the film's best assets.

Even these two can't entirely excel the film above an average cinematic experience. There are too many issues in the story to overlook - the plot jumps from one event to another, in what appears to be the compression of many comic book stories into one larger episode. The worst and most irrelevant of all of these is that of Rihanna's plot deviation; her character Bubble leads us on a completely redundant storyline which adds an unnecessary half hour to the film, all to accommodate the actor/musician (and not the other way around). As it is, she spends most of her time played by a body double or a CGI octopus-like blob, meaning her role is little more than a glorified voice over.

There's great potential in the 'Valerian and Laureline' universe, yet it has been squandered in this adaptation. Visually familiar, murkily constructed and testosterone-heavy, what could have been an out of this galaxy adventure is relegated to yet another mediocre piece of entertainment. With the world at your fingertips, there's no real reason to make 'Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets' the centre of your universe.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 10/08/2017
RUN TIME: 2h 17m
CAST: Dane Dehaan
Cara Delevingne
Clive Owen
Ethan Hawke
Rihanna
John Goodman
Kris Wu
Rutger Hauer
Alain Chabat
Emilie Livingston
DIRECTOR: Luc Besson
WRITER: Luc Besson
PRODUCER: Luc Besson
www.valerianmovie.com.au
ValerianMovieAU
ValerianMovie ‏
valerianmovie
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets' on SWITCHCast 
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Who the hell is Bloodshot? - A primer on Vin Diesel's superhero
TRENDINGWHO THE HELL IS BLOODSHOT?A primer on Vin Diesel's superhero
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
The World at War - The landmark documentary series restored in high definition
TRENDINGTHE WORLD AT WARThe landmark documentary series restored in high definition
Malila: The Farewell Flower - Contemplating love and loss
TRENDINGMALILA: THE FAREWELL FLOWERContemplating love and loss
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two - New villains, same problems
TRENDINGBATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART TWONew villains, same problems
Buckley's Chance - Not worth a chance
TRENDINGBUCKLEY'S CHANCENot worth a chance
Calm with Horses - A savage and sensitive Irish crime drama
TRENDINGCALM WITH HORSESA savage and sensitive Irish crime drama
Shiva Baby - A comedy of discomfort
TRENDINGSHIVA BABYA comedy of discomfort
The Glass Room - Stunning yet soulless
TRENDINGTHE GLASS ROOMStunning yet soulless
Some Kind of Heaven - A bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
TRENDINGSOME KIND OF HEAVENA bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
The Swallows of Kabul - Unflinching and gorgeously animated
TRENDINGTHE SWALLOWS OF KABULUnflinching and gorgeously animated
Cerulean Blue - Promising debut for a new voice in Australian cinema
TRENDINGCERULEAN BLUEPromising debut for a new voice in Australian cinema
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
2:22 - Mind-bending metaphysical mumbo-jumbo
TRENDING2:22Mind-bending metaphysical mumbo-jumbo
Birds of Prey - I'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
TRENDINGBIRDS OF PREYI'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
La Dolce Vita - Not as sweet as you'd think 60 years on
TRENDINGLA DOLCE VITANot as sweet as you'd think 60 years on
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!