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
The SWITCH team has checked out their top picks from the Perth Festival - click here to check out the reviews.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
Like A Boss - The beauty business is about to get ugly
TRENDINGWIN LIKE A BOSSThe beauty business is about to get ugly
Gemini Man - Seeing double with Will Smith's action thriller
TRENDINGWIN GEMINI MANSeeing double with Will Smith's action thriller
The Keep - Michael Mann's cult gothic thriller hits DVD for the first time ever!
TRENDINGWIN THE KEEPMichael Mann's cult gothic thriller hits DVD for the first time ever!
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood - Mr Rogers: healing the world one lost soul at a time
TRENDINGA BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOODMr Rogers: healing the world one lost soul at a time
Underwater - A solid subaquatic monster mash
TRENDINGUNDERWATERA solid subaquatic monster mash
A Guide to Second Date Sex - A quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
TRENDINGA GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEXA quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
God of the Piano - A tale that tickles the ivories
TRENDINGGOD OF THE PIANOA tale that tickles the ivories
Bad Boys For Life - Whatcha gonna do when there's nothing new
TRENDINGBAD BOYS FOR LIFEWhatcha gonna do when there's nothing new
Gone with the Wind - Wrestling with an uncomfortable past on its 80th anniversary
TRENDINGGONE WITH THE WINDWrestling with an uncomfortable past on its 80th anniversary
True History of the Kelly Gang - A magnificent deconstruction of the great Australian antihero
TRENDINGTRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANGA magnificent deconstruction of the great Australian antihero
Color Out of Space - A messy fusion of sci-fi, horror and comedy
TRENDINGCOLOR OUT OF SPACEA messy fusion of sci-fi, horror and comedy
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
25 km/h - A supremely easygoing German comedy
TRENDING25 KM/HA supremely easygoing German comedy
Perth Festival 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGPERTH FESTIVAL 2020The reviews
Bombshell - An important yet uninspired look at Fox News’ sex scandal
TRENDINGBOMBSHELLAn important yet uninspired look at Fox News’ sex scandal
Meeting Gorbachev - Chatting with a man who changed the world
TRENDINGMEETING GORBACHEVChatting with a man who changed the world
NT Live: Fleabag - The birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
TRENDINGNT LIVE: FLEABAGThe birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
In My Blood It Runs - An eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
TRENDINGIN MY BLOOD IT RUNSAn eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
Bangla - A truly beautiful mess
TRENDINGBANGLAA truly beautiful mess
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us