Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets (REVIEW)
It seems more and more that the "unfilmable" films have been taken on by well known directors, Luc Besson is the latest taking on a comic he grew up with as a kid. I assume he has done justice with the visual aspects of the film it's just a shame that visuals aside it is a pretty lackluster story.
Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne are cast as Valerian and Laureline, two government agents tasked with retrieving an object believed to be illegal and dangerous and that kicks off an adventure of mystery and discovery that isn't all that mysterious. The tale is telegraphed pretty early on and we are left with our heroes going from cool sci Fi place to cool sci Fi place. If nothing else the imagination on display and world building is something to behold even if the CG is far from the best studios have to offer.
There is a sort of will they won't they storyline that plays through the film as Valerian tries to win the affections of Laureline. He isn't all that convincing in his approach to wooing her and never really learns any valuable lessons along the way that made me believe their love at the end of the film. I bought them as partners early on but as it went along and they drifted apart it wasn't love but obligation that seemingly kept the two of them together.
The action in the film is energetic and fun to watch it's just a shame I didn't care about any of it really. It has some humorous elements that mostly work with a vast array of creatures inhabiting a world and having their own little quirks. I especially liked the opening as we see this giant space station get inhabited by more and more people and eventually alien life in a peaceful cooperative society. The juxtaposition in the film is interesting but comes too late and by that point it I didn't care so much.
It's too bad that this film is as devoid of emotions as it is with a pretty lame lead in Dane Dhaan. I much prefer the female characters of Laureline and Bubbles (Rhianna) in the film to their rather dumb male counterparts. People complain about women being underwritten but I've found in attempts to make them strong females they make men look like complete fools and after a while its just a gender swap of the same problem.
Overall this is a style over substance kind of film that is too long and has some rather lack luster performances. The soundtrack is cool and the worlds are interesting but the story just isn't there.