Here we are again, about to defend a geek movie that most movie critics have harshly criticised. In a crowded space for summer blockbusters, it was difficult for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets to get attention from movie goers but it is definitely worth the effort!
Valerian‘s commercial difficulties somewhat mirror that of John Carter – a serious problem with brand recognition and a sense of “been there, done that” due ironically to the fact that more famous scifi movie franchises have been ripping off the source material for years!
Valerian was a labour of love for director Luc Besson – a huge fan of the French comic Valérian and Laureline – and it showed. The movie is rich with thematic intensity and wild visuals. The leads (Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne) are better than one expects without leaving too much of an impression – somewhat cyphers in service to the overall narrative.
Clive Owen hams it up significantly as the big baddie while Ethan Hawke has a silly cameo. Oh and Rihanna is a head-scratching distraction as well. Elsewhere it is the motion performance capture and the stunning visual effects that will enthral.
From our perspective, Valerian was infinitely more enjoyable than the likes of Avatar, Star Wars : The Force Awakens and any of those damn Transformers movies, because at the very heart of Valerian‘s offbeat chaos is the artistic vision of Luc Besson as auteur-fan.
Fingers crossed that we get more Valérian and Laureline movie adaptations!
… still there’s more …