Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) Poster

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Wrong actors in a otherwise good movie
gaute_lie12 February 2018
As always Luc Besson makes a visual outstanding movie. The effects are like the best sci fi flicks and for that alone the movie is worth watching.

The story might not be the best, but what really is negative about this space adventure is the casting, especially the lead characters. Who really believe Valerian is a man hero, a military major when he looks like a 50kg high school boy? I know I dont. And there are other characters who are really misplaced and dont seem to know the art of acting at all. You just dont believe in them.

I would say Luc Besson had all his directing skills focused on the effects of the film, and left the (bad) actors to do what they pleased without any focus on making the characters believable.

I hope I'll never see Dane DeHaan act ever again.. The CGI characters have better acting than him and Cara Delevingne.

The reason for me giving 7 stars is because of the visual universe Luc Besson created, it's really great. If you dont care about bad casting and bad acting this film is entertaining and well made.
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Great World-building, Horrible Acting
coledenisen24 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I wanted to like this film. I really did. As a fan of the Fifth Element, I was expecting to find a well-developed plot, kitchy humor, memorable characters, and over-the-top action sequences. It had the action, but no soul. Neither of the two main characters had the acting chops to carry a scene, even the 'witty' banter came of scripted and flat as if Ben Stein had taken a heavy dose of lithium and stumble on set. The story also had several faux pas, including adding characters to advance parts of the story, only to kill them off a few minutes later.

The characters were flat and shallow. Valerian, the title character and the story's protagonist, was just plain not likable. He warranted no emotional investment. Instead of holding on to my seat in the big action sequences that threatened death and dismemberment, I felt myself not caring whether he lived or died. Part of this was due to the fact that he had the emotional range of a piece of plywood (think Hayden Christensen in Star Wars). I couldn't tell if he was professing his undying love or ordering a burger and fries at McDonalds.


The main bad-guy, who is exactly who you think it is from the get- go, also warrants no emotional investment, especially considering he spends most of the movie is some sort of stasis. The reason to hate him is only revealed near the end of the movie in a flashback sequence, and I never knew enough about his character to even form an opinion about him. When he is finally defeated, you can barely marshal a shrug, because, once again, you just don't know enough about him to care.

Rihanna's character, who by-the-way had a beautiful introduction sequence, is another example of this shallow character building. Our hero finds himself needing to access an inaccessible area that only Rihanna can provide access to. Naturally he finds himself in a strip-club where he recruits her to help him through this, which she does, only to have her die WITHIN MINUTES of fulfilling her end. Her death sequence, which, judging by the musical score, was intended to be an emotional scene, falls on the side of apathy. We never knew enough about her character to care when/if she died. There was not enough time to build that emotional investment.

There were many other eye-rolling moments, including a direct rip from The Taken script and an alien who vows unrelenting vengeance only to NEVER SHOW UP IN THE MOVIE AGAIN, but they are much too numerous to list. All-in-all, Valerian was at best a lackluster movie experience that fell in the same trap that many big-budget films do: rely on over-the-top special effects to mask shoddy story telling and flat characters. Save your money for the red-box rental.
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Eye Candy Only
jwwalk25 July 2017
I have never written a movie review in my life but I was so outraged after taking my family and some friends to see Valerian I have decided to try and save some other poor soul from falling for the special effects trap. I must admit the beautiful visual effects of this movie drew me in like the blue glow of a bug zapper.

The visual effects were stunning and the race of people central to the plot were well crafted and engaging. But when the CGI characters deliver more believable and emotional performances than the actors, you know your in trouble.

Dane Dehaan is terrible. I don't think I have ever seen him before but, he sounds like he is trying to give his best Keanu Reeves impression. If that is his natural voice I feel for him, because it sounds forced and at times comical.

The two leads do nothing to draw you into the story and not once did I feel there was any chemistry between the two actors. Delevingne comes across as an annoying B and you never find yourself hoping the two leads will work out their differences. I simply did not care about these people.

Slick visuals and special effects cannot carry a movie alone, you still need dialogue, good actors to project chemistry and emotion that draw you into the story.

I guess what I learned from this experience is not to be fooled by the special effects and wait for week two or three before spending over $80.

You can polish a turd all you want, in the end it's still a turd.
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Good, not great
emilyano20 July 2017
The first thing I want to say about this movie is that the visuals are absolutely insane! It's really a joy to watch, the aliens are extremely well made and the first scene is just gorgeous!

The story is predictable, but can keep you interested for most of the time. The main problem was the way things are explained, it's like the movie think that the viewers are not intelligent enough, and many times I found myself saying "well that was obvious". There are some scenes that have zero impact on the story, and they give you nothing interesting. I really wanted to know more about this world, about the species, but sadly that didn't happen.

The dialog is good but nothing exiting, sometimes they say the same stuff over and over and you may find yourself thinking "we get it, move on", and it's really cheesy at some points.

The acting is very good, the chemistry between Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne is great, and overall all the cast delivers.

This movie wasn't something amazing as I thought it would be judging by the trailers, but I still enjoyed it very much, the actions scenes were great and the humor was on point most of the time. I won't recommend this for those who look for something clever with breathtaking twists, but for those who enjoy solid acting, nice story and amazing visuals, this movie is definitely recommended.

Overall 7/10

Thanks for reading!
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It's not The Fifth Element
aquascape28 March 2018
When I heard Luc Besson was going to work on a space opera, I immediately hoped it would be like "The Fifth Element" but with a little bit more complexity that would turn into a franchise. Unfortunately, I was mislead by my own hopes and expectations.

For an international French movie, "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" is a very ambitious project that was covered by an astonishing $200 million budget. Certainly, it has Luc Besson attached to write and direct and it is based on a famous long-running French comic-book series, so how can it go wrong? Well, many elements added to this dull but persistent aching after watching the whole film.

First of all, 6/10 is a high rating for it, but to my reason it had stunning visual effects for a non-Hollywood or British movie and that is a remarkable thing to accomplish. It's not always easy to face-up against giants when it comes to the CGI business. Secondly, you could sense Besson's sci-fi additions with many quirky technological advancements in terms of guns or gadgets and small things like that make a true science-fiction film to me.

"Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne as two Special operatives who must stop evil-doers from destroying Alpha, the city of a thousand planets, and uncover the truth behind the extinction of an alien race. Right off the bat you could tell that the chemistry between DeHaan and Delevingne didn't exist and it stayed that way until the end of the picture. I personally think that Dane DeHaan has potential, but it was clear that this set was not suitable for him. The casting really missed this one. The script didn't help either, at times making me question how some parts of the dialogue were ever spoken out loud. With the right casting and script this movie could have been worth something.

This concludes another recent attempt at the space opera genre, after The Wachowskis' "Jupiter Ascending", and it turns out that a space opera needs time and preparation to do it right and not rush development.
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More fun than the last five Star Wars films
yesterdayman200220 July 2017
What if the Star Wars prequels had been handed over to a better director? What if The Force Awakens and Rogue One had aimed at being original and fun science fantasy films rather than just playing on people's nostalgia?

This is what I found myself seeing as I was watching Valerian. A film that made Space Opera's fun and exciting again.

I was surprised by the two leads. The trailers made it feel like we'd be seeing a rehash of the two main leads from Ender's Game but I was surprised at how fun and spunky (and flawed) the two characters were to watch. The romance was not there and it did not need to be there because this film is not a romance nor centered around a romance.

This film is Luc Besson taking what people loved about the Fifth Element and stretching it to the entire movie.

And yes, it is true, it is visually the prettiest movie since Avatar. The kids I took with me to see this film had their eyes on the screen the whole time, no bathroom break, no water break, just a visually mesmerizing film that never tired its audience.

My recommendation is to go see it on the bring screen to experience the marvel of it. It's a shame it is not available in IMAX.
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Valerian And The City Of...Who Cares?
loco_734 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Valerian And The City Of... Who Cares..." flopped because it was a jumbled mess. Crummy story, terrible script, badly edited and the so called "stunning visuals" were an incoherent cacophony of sights and sounds, that surely looked pretty at times, but added nothing to the movie, except give audiences whiplash and headaches.

But perhaps even worse were the two lead actors cast in the main roles, the people supposed to carry this movie. Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne had zero on-screen chemistry. They are terrible sub-par actors, which isn't saying much given the widespread lack of talent of the upcoming generation of artists, people who think that "trending" and being famous is the same as having talent and ability.

Watching Cara Delevingne trying to act is about as painful as being lobotomized while awake...
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Uneven Story Telling is Boosted by Spectacular Visuals
Harun_Karali19 July 2017
Adapted from Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières long-running French sci-fi comics series Valérian And Laureline. Luc Besson creates a stunning visual feast. Besson's attention to detail is immaculate. And that along side the quirky dialog's between Laureline and Valerian are what keep this film afloat. I might be in the minority, but I prefer my films to be lengthy. However in this case, Valerian feels overstuffed trying to add more depth to the story at every turn. This film might have benefited from a shorter run time. The biggest surprise was Laureline(Delevingne), her character is what kept my interest throughout the film and her acting was actually on point. As someone who was skeptical about her casting, I'm glad to be proved wrong. Not saying it's her breakout performance, Just saying she's improving and perhaps she might have a future as an actress. Everyone deserves a second chance.

Grade: B-
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Spectacular SciFi pulls no punches
IndustriousAngel20 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The first thing you'll observe about Luc Besson's Valerian is how gorgeous it looks, how much work went into the perfect realisation of this world. In a time where nearly every blockbuster features tons of CGI, Valerian stands out and highlights how cheaply the effects are done in most of the other ones.

Next, the sheer inventiveness of designers, artists, set builders, wardrobe and makeup - again, makes us painfully realise how off-the-rack and dull most blockbusters are. Add to that Besson's quirky aesthetics and you're in a world that's nearly overpowering you with its inventiveness, its visual splendour, and also plain fun. I mean, a movie where a Jessica Rabbit cameo doesn't feel forced or out of place, that's just unique.

In my opinion, the optical fireworks were even a bit overdone, some scenes were plainly set up in a certain way to make them more spectacular but didn't really add to the story - an early on action sequence in a half-virtual market comes to mind that would work nearly equally well in a normal bazaar, just without some gags.

As to the story-line - lovers of the books (as I am) will recognise a lot of ingredients and species, and the main set-piece, a space city, is obviously taken from "L'Ambassadeurs des Ombres", but the story itself is a new one and revolves around a planet wiped out in a war about 30 years back, and the repercussions thereof. The "secret" someone wants to keep is not that secret to us, in fact about half an hour into the movie you already have a pretty good idea of what's going on, the joy comes from the detours we're taking on the road to the happy ending, not from silly plot twists.

Now, the characters, Valerian and Laureline: Dane DeHaan looks too young for his part from the comics (where Valerian was the more experienced partner, here he just has a higher degree), Cara Delevingne is perfectly cast, standing her ground with just the right amount of sarcasm and spunk. The team dynamics were as readers know it - Valerian the one who tends to stick to the rules and play by book while Laureline tends to act more impulsively - but both working together really well, be it as a duo or solo. There is a romance angle in the movie that was not taken from the books and feels a bit forced, thankfully it stays marginal and doesn't lessen the overall enjoyment.

And cheers to the screenwriters (Besson, mostly) for not going full in with the stakes. While there's some serious action here - people die and some more might die if V&L didn't succeed - it's actually a rather smallish plot, with just one single villain, and no worlds or even the universe to be saved, just the lives of some innocent bystanders.

Big recommendation for all fans of colourful SciFi and optical fireworks!
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Hugely Enjoyable!
tony-clifton21 July 2017
Although I too enjoy super hero movies, action movies blah blah - they are getting tired. Good directors can get the pacing, directing and acting so right that the same-ol story can be told while still be entertaining. Especially in science fiction, it seems there are no original ideas any more.

Then comes along Valerian - WOW! What a refreshing and imaginative world they've developed and an exciting movie they've created! The trailers truly do not do this movie justice. I watched this movie just for Luc Besson, because the trailer made the movie look like the usual Hollywood drivel. What I got instead was an extremely pleasing and original story that was superbly executed.

What I love about the movie is that the plot isn't your typical sci-fi plot. It plays like a detective story intermingled with action and amazing visuals, culminating in a very satisfying ending that made me yearn for sequels to learn more about the universe Besson has created.

Well done! This movie deserves to live on! Watch it in the theaters and be thrilled!
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Horrendously acted, incoherently written, waste of time.
criticadelcinema25 July 2017
Jeez. This movie. I loathe nearly everything about this film, but let's go ahead and knock out these positives. 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is visually stunning— sometimes. There is a great deal of imagination that went into the art design here, and this definitely separates this film from the overly saturated sci-fi sub genre. The ambition showed in the world building of this universe is commendable, director Luc Besson really goes for it here. The vast majority of this film is completely CGI- rendered, and for the most part, the CGI is well done. The opening sequence that kicks this film off is breathtaking, and while it shares similarities to James Cameron's Avatar, there is an uniqueness to it that really draws the audience in.

As soon as our two human protagonists come on screen—which mind you, is immediately after the impressive opening sequence—the film screeches to a halt, losing every speck of momentum garnered in the first twenty minutes.

Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne portray cardboard cutouts—oh, I mean special government agents tasked with some of the universe's most important tasks. I wish there was something good I could say about the performances from these two. But, nearly every time DeHaan opened his mouth to speak all, I could do was sigh. This is clearly a role meant for a charismatic actor, the likes of someone like Chris Pratt, Tom Cruise, or Will Smith. Instead, this film has DeHaan, who gives such an extremely wooden performance that it is borderline painful. The chemistry between DeHaan and Delevingne is nonexistent. The romantic relationship between these two characters maybe could have been believable with a different pair of actors. With these two brick walls though? Nah. The film screeches to a halt far too many times to give focus to unbearable romantic moments between the two—many of which hurt me physically. 

What really rose my blood pressure here was the script. Dare I say, I prefer the dialogue and narrative from the Transformers: The Last Knight over what is present in this film's monstrosity of a screenplay. This film thinks it is hilarious and charming, just like Transformers did. This film is immensely unfunny and repulsive, just like Transformers is. The attempts at quips and back-and-forth jokes are insufferable, getting less funny and more amateurish as the film goes on. DeHaan and Delevingne definitely deserve some of the blame for this, but the godawful writing doesn't provide them much room to be anything more than annoying. 

The plot manages to be more jumbled than anything I have seen all year. There are whole sections of this film that have nothing to do with the narrative set up in the opening act. This is a 2 hour and 20 minute film that has no business being anything over 90 minutes. A whole third of this film could be cut out, (specifically the detour that features singer/songwriter Rihanna) and nothing about the ending would change. I should have walked out of this movie somewhere near that 90 minute mark, but, like Transformers, I hoped the final act would be this film's saving grace. It wasn't.

If you spent money your hard-earned money on this film this weekend, I truly apologize. While this is not the cinematic cancer that the Transformers franchise continues to be—Valerian is a horrendously acted, incoherently written, waste of time. 
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The most disappointing Luc Bresson film
sfcape-7521112 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
How could a director who was able to so cleverly match over-the-top Chris Tucker with dead-pan, straight arrow Bruce Willis in "The Fifth Element" end up with the two most banal characters ever, Dana DeHaan and Cara Delevingne? Throughout the film the only action you could look forward to was one or both of them being blasted into small bits or eaten by one of the many monsters. When they would open their mouths you wondered if you were on some college campus.Their dialogue was childish, insipid, and totally devoid of the kind of adult emotion that drew you into "Leon:The Professional" or "La Femme Nikita". Besson has no excuse here; he directed and wrote this mess. I love Luc Besson's previous films. However, this was such a disappointment, you have to wonder what the value will be for his upcoming remakes, Lucy 2 and Columbiana 2.
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Watch it - you won't get anything better this year
Radu_A20 July 2017
The Hollywood line-up this year doesn't provide anything remotely interesting. So don't let a shaky story-line, unnecessary dialogue and slightly hammy acting dissuade you from watching the most stunning visuals since "Avatar".

Based on 60s French cult comic series "Valerian & Laureline" - mystery to me why didn't they keep that title -, the magnificent opening sequence sets the tone for a more esoteric approach to Sci-Fi than "Star Wars". I won't let on about the story too much so as not to ruin any element of surprise. Let's just say they really should have lost the romantic chitchat. It makes the film drag at inconvenient times. With real writers, this could have become a classic.

The draw is the eye candy and there's plenty of it. Again I cannot in good conscience divulge any details. Again let's just say that one gets treated to the most creative use of lemons in the history of film. I'll have to watch it again to catch all the pop art references. Aliens were never more beautiful, more sophisticated, more varied. And while the Rihanna scene cannot compete with the opera scene in "5th Element", it's the best use of a performance act in film in years.

Alas, when one thinks "5th Element", the main weaknesses of "Valerian" stands out clearly: mediocre acting and a terrible script. Bloodless DeHaan is the most dreadfully miscast lead since Tom Hiddleston in "Kong: Skull Island". Why didn't they cast the likes of Theo James with over $200 mil to burn? Cara Delevingne is cool but no Milla Jovovich - Besson loved Jovovich for real and the camera and editing really showed that. Delevingne's Laureline comes across as a run-of-the-mill heroine even though she's doing a solid job. Clive Owen cannot even remotely compare to Gary Oldman's Hitleresque splendor. Strangely enough, the CGI aliens do the best acting and have all the memorable lines. Besson's script-writing has always been shaky but seems to get progressively worse.

Still, compared to this year's Hollywood fare of sequels, yet another superhero franchise and musicals with thespians who cannot sing, "Valerian" is infinitely more entertaining.
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Terrible acting from the two leads
troyez701 November 2017
This movie would have been pretty good if not for the horrible acting from Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, and their high-school romance is ham-fisted and stupid. They're probably the worst actors I've ever seen, and they drag down this movie like an anchor. Apart from the leads this movie was visually stunning and could have been something great.
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Interesting & colorful
midge5622 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The film is definitely interesting & colorful & imaginative. But somewhat confusing to those of us who are not familiar with the French comic book stories. There are also some ripoff's from American scifi. They have 3 short bargaining creatures which are clearly a cross between the MIB Worms with attitudes of Star Trek Ferengi's.

On the DVD extra's when they showed the comic book pages, you could see a collection of Mr Spock characters but these were not in the film. What creatures were in the film were unique & interesting, but a few in the opening montage were clearly of Star Trek origin.

However, those creatures in the core of the film were unique & fun to watch. However, those of us who were not familiar with the comics were somewhat confused about the plot for the first half of the movie. We finally caught on when the pearl people explained it halfway into the film. The plot should have been described at the beginning after the attack on their planet.

The 2 big problems were the costumes of the 2 stars. They should have worn sexy white jumpsuit spacesuits like shown on the comics. That would have made a huge difference.

The second problem was the 2 main actors. They both looked 15 years old & certainly didn't evoke the sexy comic book couple. The actors should have looked like they were in their mid 20's, more mature & sexy supercouple stars. This pair of actors was unbelievable in their roles. Not the actors faults. We could not imagine these immature teenagers in these roles of the supercouple duo shown in the comic book pages on the DVD extras. When you choose the wrong actors for a role, it can ruin your entire movie. This couple was simply wrong for the supercouple role. Wearing dark, clumsy costumes made it worse.

It was a bad casting fit with bad costumes. If they could correct this and did a better job of presenting the plot so we knew what was happening, it could have been a truly great movie.

The pole dancing creature was a work of genius. No nudity. Just very creative. The actress was very talented & gymnastic. I mean this seriously. I'm not into females since I am one. The choreography was exceptional & cleverly edited with costume morphing. Deserving of an academy award.

Definitely worth watching. The acting is OK. It just doesn't click with this pair of actors who don't fit with the comic book supercouple. I hope they do create a sequel & make these changes to the 2 main actors & their costumes.
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How poor is love that counts ...
simon-wang20 July 2017
Watching 'Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets' I was reminded what makes Science Fiction so enjoyable. It's not the space fights, the cool alien life forms, the futuristic metropolis. It's that all these things remind us how infinite this space is, how tiny our existence, and how precious.

You probably have no idea what I am talking about. Just go watch this fantastic movie and you will understand. To make it short: This movie was perfect. It is a breathtaking, overwhelming vision of the celebrated comics, brought to life with heartblood by Luc Besson.

The less you know about the story the better. The film naming hero Valerian is connected through his dreams to a distant planet. It involves war between races, military intrigue, love & death, but more then any other SciFi movie, this one is about the journey not the destination. The countless side stories, and side characters are what makes this a breathing version of an unforgettable universe. This is the best Sci Fiction film I've seen since 'The Matrix'.
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An Utter disappointment
mhorg201829 July 2017
When I first saw the trailer for this, and being a huge fan of the (Vastly superior) Fifth Element, as well as Leon the Professional, I could hardly wait to see it. What a mistake! I should have waited. A terrible story cannot be supported by great visuals. This was one boring, almost unfollowable story. The leads are pretty, but the inane dialogue waste's them totally. The entire SciFi part is wrapped around a basically horny Valerian wanting to settle down with his fellow agent. The opening, about the building of station Alpha is the best part. The rest of the film goes downhill from there. Just a really huge mistake. After Luc's near miss with Lucy, (good until the end), I was hoping that he would rebound with this, but this is just a huge, dull (I nearly fell asleep during it) mess of a movie. So sad, since there was some serious potential here.
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A film who's creator knows no bounds of imagination
wolverinejmc20 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
David Bowie introduces the first five minutes of Valerian, and perhaps its fitting we should have the Starman himself lead us into a glimpse of what the future could hold for humans and all interstellar life.By the time Mr. Bowie completes his Space Oddity, we've learned that the titular City of a Thousand Planets is the international space station hundreds of years in the future.suddenly, a peaceful seashell world is decimated without explanation.from there, Valerian and Laureline take over the action as two agents in pursuit of their stolen commander, and everything gets weird from there. Director Luc Besson is his own starman here, and he commands the world of Valerian with pizazz and passion. Not everything works, as our space agents wrestle dialogue that falls pancake flat; but the actors play well off each other and comedic moments succeed more than fail. The ending half of the film loses steam,except for Rihanna's literally acrobatic performance,but Valerian is a bonkers crazy, geeky, and likable space opera that can only come from someone who's imagination is truly free.
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Unfortunately Very Disappointing
michael-presneill18 August 2017
I am a big sci-fi fan and I love a good big budget movie but unfortunately I was very disappointed with this film.

It has great CGI effects but this does not save the wooden acting and dire script which I watched with my wife throughout the film. I enjoyed the Fifth Element and the other films the director made but this movie just never got going for me.

Its like the movie was trying to copy some of the other great films out there like Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy etc. but never tried to create its own unique style.

Sadly I could not emphasis with the 2 main actors and they both looked 2 young for their roles within this movie when older actors probably would of done a better job.

I lost the bet with my son who said I would not enjoy the movie and he was absolutely right which is a real shame as the movie could of been very good if the script was better, better actors and the CGI effect were played down a bit.
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You've seen this before
laiduntaja27 July 2017
You've all seen this before. Stereotypical and shallow characters, predictable plot, ever present and boring dialogue, iced with overproduced CGI action scenes.

Acting isn't half bad, nor are the costumes and visuals. All the aliens and creatures are done well, and there are tons of them. Most of them are nothing more than backdrops, which I don't mind, and none of them are explored in any great detail.

The plot is as predictable as they come. From the beginning I could've pointed out the obvious; That alien is too happy so she's gonna die, he's the bad guy, those robots are gonna kill everybody and so on. A child could have come up with a better plot.

It seems like they wanted to put everything from the comics into one movie. The end result is a flat mess of a pancake.
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Awesome cinematography, but terrible acting and poorly connected story line
nicstusek4 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This movie must have been made by teenagers... A total lack of detail, with random scenes of fantastic colour and motion. Visually it is amazing, but most of the actors were terrible and the story lacked consistency and detail. Also, inconsistent subtitles with the non-English languages. Absolutely no chemistry between the 2 love interests. Much too long as well.
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Great SciFi Movie
CynicAce22 July 2017
First of all, this movie is visually stunning, even though most of the scenes are CGI, its still look realistic, its gorgeous

and then the design, from the buildings to the spaceships, to the wardrobe and makeup, it all looks wonderful and colorfull

for me, as a non-reader of the book/comics this movie is like a combination of Star Wars and Avatar the storytelling for me was a bit uneven but the storyline was good

for me Cara Delevingne as Laureline was better and perfectly cast than Dane Dehaan as The Valerian

thats all i could say, i don't know too much about this movie, but what i know and all i could say is this movie is amazing, its visually stunning movie, the story was good, the characters were amazing

Definitely recommended for Scifi lovers
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Both Too Good and Too Bad to Recommend Strongly
bkrauser-81-31106424 July 2017
I'm not going to lie, I was looking forward to Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The production team behind it, in combination with the history of the IP (not to mention the absolutely bonkers trailer) made it seem like Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) level intensity was the best case scenario. Worst case scenario, we were looking at a Jupiter Ascending (2015) a la, a movie with enough sheer lunacy to justify a watch despite being seriously flawed.

So it's to my surprise and partially to my chagrin that Valerian is neither of these things - not really. It is a painfully sincere movie that is positively aglow with its own ingenuity, like a toddler is with his own finger painting. And believe it or not, that kind of innocent hubris does save Valerian from quite of few scrapes and contrivances here and there. Yet when the day is done, there's no denying director Luc Besson's newest sci-fi space adventure is simultaneously too sloppy and too well made to enjoy.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based on a series of French science fiction comics which chronicle the adventures of Valerian (DeHaan) a roguish space cop and his damsel-esque partner Laureline (Delevingne). After their latest mission inadvertently puts them in possession of the film's magical sci-fi maguffin, they make their way to the fabled space city of Alpha. Once they get there however, all hell breaks loose and our heroes find themselves scrabbling to rescue their superior, Commander Filitt (Owen) from an unknown group of aliens.

The highs of this movie are near euphoric with some of the most creative and convincing examples of world-building seen this side of blockbuster cinema. The technology, the habitats the creature design et al. are all so refreshingly fun with the city of Alpha being the clear standout of all the marvelous filigree. Alpha at times feels like an ever shifting character in the film, assimilating worthwhile ideas from Star Trek (1966-1969), "John Carter of Mars," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and all points in between. What's more, the worlds that are created here, you feel like you can come right out and touch them. They practically beg to be explored and thanks in part to the script, you get a decent if breezy tour of Alpha via Valerian and Laureline's fast-paced adventure.

Yet the lows in this movie are almost embarrassingly low, with every bad decision sticking out like Chris Tucker in cheetah print. The problems start almost immediately. Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne for all their efforts are sorely miscast as our heroes; trying desperately to pull off a Han/Leia vibe with the chemistry of flat soda. Much of it can't be helped of course; partially due to their age they look less like grizzled space cops whom by their own admission "have seen it all," and more like children playing dress up. You can also just tell what little direction they were given was limited to them hitting their mark and reading their lines, never mind emoting or interacting with the space in any meaningful way.

There's also the issue of the plot, which on its own merits is fine and even a little illuminating on paper. Yet due to the way the story unfolds, we're given everything we need to piece together the themes very early on. Its clear Luc Besson (who also wrote the screenplay) doesn't want to bog the movie down too much with Avatar (2009) -level messaging. Gadgetry can be argued to be its own reward. But because the movie is in such a rush to whisk us to the next show-stopping set-piece, it all but ignores its problematic elements. Elements that include but are not limited to: a simple "noble savage" vs. militaristic boogeyman narrative, human (alien) trafficking being treated as a fumbled plot device, an alien race modeled after feudal Japanese stereotypes that actually eats people...

Yet despite big, big, BIG problems, Valerian still manages to eek out enough good ideas worthy of a tacit recommendation. The bustling city of Alpha, reminiscent of Venice during the Renaissance or Baghdad at the height of the Abbasids is certainly worth a look. Of course if the imagination inherent in a far-future sci-fi smorgasbord isn't enough to entice you, and you're more concerned with say story, plot etc. then I say read the graphic novels instead.
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Super mix of "Dune"+"Avatar"+"Star Wars"+"Guardians of the Galaxy"+"Babylon 5"
StrayFeral24 July 2017
Disclaimer: I never read any of the comic books. This review is for the movie only.

I cannot be more specific. This movie is a super mix of "Dune" (1984, David Lynch's cut)+"Avatar"+"Star Wars"+"Guardians of the Galaxy"+"Babylon 5".

And more specifically:

There is the secret super-power substance, the source of life and the free people who use it - thus the spice "melange" and the Fremen from "Dune" (represented by pearls in "Valerian").

Different races of intelligent species with different abilities, just like the houses and the home planets from "Dune".

All together they live in a single place, just like in "Babylon 5".

The wild nature and the blue nature-bound people from "Avatar".

The colors, the jokes and the action from the "Guardians of the Galaxy". Maybe there is a pinch of the Douglas Adams jokes too.

The rebels from "Star Wars". There is even a copied scene from "Star Wars Episode IV" - where Luke liberates Leia for first time, she wears nice white dress.

This movie set the bar way too high beyond everything we've ever seen. Visually the movie is stunning. Far beyond "Avatar", but also we are in the year of 2017, where technology is more advanced. Great music, cool story.

In short - definitely worth seeing.

The way I see it - the next episode will continue in the style of "Dune" - we need to get more insight of the different races, more local heroes, more insight on the super pearls.

I am curious - would we see the sleeper awaken?
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Valerian and the barely watchable lead actors.
dingusrev6 April 2018
Massive fan of Luc Besson. Was really interested in seeing this and went into it with plenty of hope... though I did wonder how the 2 lead actors got the gig because they are both pretty substandard actors. I reckoned we'll its a grandiose scale movie surely they will have little effect on it.

Sadly they completely ruin it and make watching this film an absolute chore. Dane dehaan gives he worst lead performance I've ever seen.

The film itself is one massive video game cgi cutscene and the plot is paper thin , cliched and completely unoriginal.

A real shame
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