This may be a long read so as a TL:DR
*Takes a Deep Breath*
I enjoyed the movie, but the characters were dull, and it could have been cast better. Great imagery and above average world building with cool visual effects and graphics.
Now, the gritty part.
I always wanted to watch this movie when I saw the first commercial simply because it looked amazing. The spaceships, the crazy stuff going on, and the cool science fiction type world with the space station and all the not based on 21st century junk. It was simply, different. One thing I will point out is that the movie should have just been titled “Valerian” and not “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”. Way too many words going on there. Unless I got the title wrong, I think just Valerian would have done just fine.
I am a science fiction guy, or maybe just fiction. I don’t know it is all fiction or science fiction to me. I always think about ‘what ifs’ and this movie really gets my brain going about all the countless stories that could be happening on any of the other 999 planets, except the story about Valerian… Don’t get me wrong the story is okay and has some interesting plots twists if you’re not completely paying attention but everything gets explained (at least the big questions do). This at least ensures that you, the viewer, aren’t left with too many questions when you finally reach the credits.
Going back to why you may be asking “how could he not want to follow Valerian’s story?” Well put simply, the cast they chose to draw you in wasn’t the best choice. I am sure they could have found a better duo. They built this beautiful world to explore and let your eyes water over with wonder only to throw two people who really take the light away. Now, I can’t act, and I know it is a hard thing to do but they screwed the pooch on this one. The characters simply were not engaging! Like, I want to feel what the characters feel and these two felt like emotionless robots… and not the good kind.
Ignoring the robotic cast and their preprogrammed emotions. The rest of the movie I found to be spectacular. The concept of the space station almost reaching the size of a planet almost made me want to visit an intergalactic bazaar myself. I may not be able to go to one in my lifetime but maybe some of my work might be for sale one day. One can hope right? Anyway, back to it. Even the alien race they end up protecting in the end is fascinating.
The movie basically revolves around a mystery of a planet that disappeared and this small little creature that Valerian and his co-pilot must secure. What is nice about this movie is that the plot begins to develop with each moment slowly unraveling the mystery in front of you. By the time it ends you’ll be like “oh man how did I not see that!” Well, you might not be that excited, but you’ll be able to put all the pieces together. That is something even I can appreciate because I can write a review and not have to look up the entire thing to remember parts of it (hinting heavily at my previous review).
I think, if you haven’t seen it already, you should put this on your watch list. You may enjoy the concepts and scenery they flash in front of your face if you can look past the dreadful acting. Even with some big-name stars in the movie it still just doesn’t deliver. It even had Rihanna in it and I rolled my eyes at her part. Stick to singing, please.
I’d give it a solid three of five stars solely on the imagery and that it got my mind thinking. It would have gotten two more if the cast was a bit more believable…