Sunday, July 23, 2017

Valerian is a sugar rush

Movie Title:  Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Grade:  B

Rating: PG-13, 137 minutes

  • In a Nutshell:  Written and directed by Luc Besson, this sci-fi adventure takes you on a colorful journey with incredible creativity and imagination. 

  •  Unfortunately, it     misses the mark as an emotionally satisfying meal, but is a fun sugar rush.

Uplifting theme: 
  • “Love is more powerful than anything.” – Laureline (Cara Delevingne)
  • “Love – it’s the trust you place in someone else.” – Lauraline 

Things I liked:
  • The French comics source material is extremely creative and this film does it justice.
  • The opening sequence in the space station when the Americans were greeting visitors in space throughout the centuries was really cute.
  • There is another sequence where Valerian smashes through a bunch of sections of the space station and you quickly see an impressive variety of environments.
  • Cara Delevingne is beautiful to look at.  She wears mostly skimpy outfits that consist of a bikini with a sheer cover, but I thought the white dress she wore was really pretty.
  • I loved all of the creative creatures.  This blows that orginal Star Wars bar scene out of the water....or universe in this case.
  • Rihanna fans will love her character as “Bubble.”  Bubble puts on an amazing pole dance show and is a very sweet character.
  • Good music choices.
  • I LOVED Avatar and the people of Mul reminded me of them because of their sparkly skin and gentle spirits.  The animation was incredible.
  • Beautiful colors and textures.
  • The “Big Market” looked really interesting and kind of like a virtual 3D game.  That double barrel pistol in the market was cool.
  • Cool K-Trons.
  • China is such a HUGE movie market nowadays that I thought it was interesting that you see the Chinese flag two times in the movie.  Can you say Yuan?
  • I wish I had someone like Alex to help me with everything!  Maybe the  Amazon Echo - Black is kind of like that?
  • See in 3D if you can.
  • The plot is fairly simple, but I thought the journey was a lot of fun.
  • Ethan Hawke’s performance was a kick.

Things I didn’t like:
  • A lot of the dialogue was really dumb.  
  • Most of the lines that were supposed to add humor fell flat.
  • Wow, I guess I’m getting really old, because the two stars of the movie (Valerian and Laureline) look like teenagers to me. They don't have believable chemistry together.  The casting just seemed off.  It's pretty ridiculous to believe they're the universe's most talented agent team.
  • Laureline rolls her eyes a LOT.  In fact, both Valerian and Laureline are incredibly cocky and just not that likable.  We don’t see much character development, nor arc to show their growth.  The romance between them just wasn't convincing.
  • Dane Dehaan sounded like a goofy Keanu Reeves and seemed very young and impish.  I thought his performance in A Cure for Wellness was much more mature and with more depth.
  • There are so many creatures and side stories packed into this film that I would have loved to learn more about, but are quickly skimmed over. 

Funny lines:
  • “For better or worse?” – Laureline
“Worse?  Is that negotiable?” – Valerian
“No.” – Laureline
  • “Humans are so predictable.” – Doggendaggies
“Clearly, you’ve never met a woman.” - Laureline

Tips for parents: 
  • This is a fun family film.
  • No profanity.
  • Skimpy clothing on all of the women.
  • Sci-fi violence.

Want to read the graphic novel? Check it out here:
  Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets: The Official Movie Novelization

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