July 28, 2017

Review: Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets

Written by
In Space No One Can See You Puke

1.5 stars

Mini Review:

The aliens are awesome. The gadgets could be awesome. The story is valid. But the ‘marry me’ refrain from a hero to the heroine is so badly done, it overshadows everything. It takes a small character called ‘Bubble’ played by Rihanna to save the film. A disappointing offering from the great Luc Besson.


Main Review:

AWESOME ALIENS

Love the idea that aliens who could be intimidating in appearance – like the radioactive Marmakas, or the Taglians – are brilliant psychologists and theologists respectively. There are shapeshifter too, and I will elaborate on them in a separate para. Love the introduction to the aliens in the film: the human handshake to aliens who stare at the offered hand then adapt quickly. It’s meant to make you smile, but the graphic novels tell more than the film does. The humans are presiding over the council this time around, and the humans want to slap their own ideas of duty and order and chaos… 

The aliens on planet Mül are beautiful, empathic, and live on the beach, giving back to nature what she gives to people with the help of a magical creature called ‘Converter’.

One day on their planet, the peace is disturbed by two alien forces who are battling in Mül airspace and their planet is destroyed because one of the aliens uses a weapon that not only destroys the other aliens, but also the planet over which the battle is taking place. Of course the aliens who bomb the planet are humans, who know the planet is inhabited, and still… Of course a bunch of aliens escape and land up on this floating city.  

THE GADGETS ARE AWESOME, THE HERO IS AN ASSHOLE

You will love the goop aliens shoot at humans to immobilise them. You wonder about the pearl that is pure energy. 

You become a tourist of an invisible city, visible only under the special VR headsets. And you can buy real things! Who wouldn’t love this technology! Of course the Jabba the Hutt type alien is selling contraband which the hero Valerian needs to confiscate for the government. The guns are attached to the arm (they look like you put your arm into a trap and couldn’t get it out. so unwieldy!) and work on genetic footprint. There is paint like substance that makes you invisible when brushed on. You wish the director had brushed the invisibility paint on the hero all through the film. 

Valerian is a cocky young man with a ‘playlist’ of girlfriends. He is now flirting with his partner (on a mission in a space-ship) who is way better at work than he is. This is officer Lauraline played by Cara Delevigne’s eyebrows (could not get over her hairy caterpillar dark eyebrows under a blonde head). Why should she even like a bumbling hero who does not follow a single instruction, endangering his mission? Why should girls be shown that they must fall in love with someone who has no sense, no? Every time Valerian opens his mouth he sounds like a petulant ten year old who wants a toy and is denied it.

Is this really Luc Besson who gave us The Fifth Element? Thankfully there is a freakishly amazing shape shifter called Bubble. The character is played beautifully by Rihanna (and her endless costume changes), who does a marvelous cabaret number. 

PLEASE HOLLYWOOD, NO MORE ‘POWER OF LOVE’

Harry Potter dropped the mic on the ‘love can save Harry from evil like Voldemort’. And when you see ‘love can heal planets’ and ‘love can make interplanetary peace possible’ and ‘dying for love’ in this movie just feels smarmy and as sticky as alien goo…  

Valerian comic books may be very popular with the kids. But the movie…




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