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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is directed by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Lucy) and stars Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke, and Rihanna, I guess this is the week that singers decided to turn to acting (Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran). The story is based on the comic book series “Valerian and Laureline” and is a passion project for director Luc Besson. Luc even went as far as to put some of his own money into this $197 million-dollar film. He truly cared about this film.

I’m just going to cut right to the chase, this movie is a pile of Hot Gah-bage! I did not enjoy this film at all. The story was confusing and just assumed the audience would understand why everything works the way that it did. The plot is just rescue mission, after rescue mission, after rescue mission, within a rescue mission. At the beginning of the film they explain why our characters are in space and why there is this big space city, but then never care to connect it to the rest of the story. The movie is called “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” and the City of a Thousand Planets is in about 20 minutes of this entire 2hr 17min film and when you are there, you forget that you are event there. It just feels like every planet and setting is the same and you have no idea how we got from one to another.

Let’s get to the acting performances of the film. These characters are just simply annoying. Dane DeHaan’s character is this serious guy with his job but also an arrogant playboy who can accomplish almost anything. Dane just comes across as a 15-year-old who is trying too hard to be cool when in the movie, he is actually a lot older. Cara Delevingne is ok at the beginning but quickly starts to show why she is not a strong actress when she is given the opportunity to shine and does not take advantage. I have no idea what Ethan Hawke was doing in this movie, I feel like they told him to act like 2000’s Matthew McConoughey before his career got back on track. The best performance was Rihanna just because she mailed it in and that was more then what the other actors offered.

The biggest problem with this movie was the tone and lack of explanation on key points. The tone shifted many times from serious drama where many aliens are dying and destruction is happening, to a kid’s film where an alien wants Cara Delevingne to try on a dress, to a scene with Rihanna being a pole dancer. Also, things are just never addressed like, why is Valerian the best agent? What happened to all the other girls he’s been with? Does Laureline actually like Valerian? Why do these 2 agents look like kids? Why do these 3 random aliens who sell information just walking the halls of a government facility? All these questions and more just get completely brushed aside.

The one positive I will give this movie is the visual effects. The visual landscape is stunning and you can see why this movie was so expensive to make. The colors and costumes had a ton of detail put into them. The score of the film by Alexandre Desplat was fine but not anything special that you will remember after you leave. To sum it all up, this movie was not good at all. It was like “Star Wars” meets “Sharkboy and Lavagirl” and those are two films that should never mix with each other. A film as massive as this felt so small and in the end, a wasted opportunity for something special and fresh. Hopefully Luc Besson can get back on track with his next project.