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Luc Besson has been itching to make the movie of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets full movie for more than 20 years. The movie is based on comic strips written Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières .
That comic fired his imagination as a petit and enable him to let loose with digital techniques he wished he would had back on The Fifth Element. Besson finally get what he want as he making the movie on his own, free of any studio interference with production’s whopping $180 million budget. In short, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets movie is the most ambitious and colossally risky cinematic endeavor since James Cameron made Avatar.
The result is a breathless as a boundless candy-neon pinball-machine theme-park freak-out so lacking in any sense of creative restraint. The movie makes most other space operas look shabby and timid. If you thought Jupiter Ascending was visually conservative and insufficiently bewildering or The Force Awakens would have been improved by a five-minute sequence in which Rihanna pole-dances as a shapeshifting prostitute, then Valerian is the movie for you. With jellyfish that eat memories, aquatic monsters the size of cathedrals and a bazaar so bizarre its exists simultaneously in different dimensions, the movie like what Guardians Of The Galaxy might have been turned out if James Gunn were a being made of pure mescaline.
You have to applaud Besson for his world where not even the sky is the limit and every frame is stuffed with mad-genius invention. However, the movie miss a lot. It’s kind of mocking, after whole bunch of applause, to say that Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets full movie missed everything that make a movie a movie. It doesn’t have an actual story, developed character, coherence, a sense of pace, etc. It misses them all.
Throughout its running time, Valerian is a marathon run at a sprint. It’s exhausting. During rare “nano”moments where Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne slow down to talk and flirt, they communicate only in leaden cliché-ese. “My heart will belong to you and no-one else” blahs Valerian; “You’re scared of commitment” Laureline drones in response. Besson may have his talent to bring the mighty forces of VFX to artfully craft any weirdo monster or spaceship his can imagine, but he definitely can’t create any chemistry between these two of his leads. You won’t find any sense of depth or history to this couple, and obviously, there are no reason to care for either their mission or their ersatz romance.
Talking about the plot that they have to propel, once you strip away all the shiny, greeble-covered cladding, it’s flimsier than a bottle rocket attempting re-entry. There’s a cute alien critter our heroes have to rescue from a place. Then, they need to take it to another place where aliens who look like supermodels want the cute critter back to help them rebuild their planet. That’s pretty much all the story, and yet somehow you still feel befuddled.
The sad truth is once the giddy novelty of riding dodgems in Besson’s psychedelic space-carnival wanes, it all becomes quite grating. Almost enough to make you want to grab the nearest memory-eating jellyfish.