By Dave B.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (now free on Amazon Prime) tells the story of two agents who become embroiled in a convoluted (yet simplistic) interstellar conspiracy. It currently has a critic score of 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. For a little background to this review, I had heard a lot of bad things about this movie. Most of those things were exaggerated, in my opinion.
The plot was as standard as I have ever seen, but ultimately, I didn’t find that to be as big of a negative as some people did; most movies just aren’t very original and oftentimes, other things can make up for a lack of originality. In this case, it was the fact that visually, Valerian was a beautiful movie. It’s clear the creators didn’t skimp on the special effects budget. The action was also decent. Overall, the production value of this movie was high.
Further, the first five minutes of Valerian pretty much put my ultimate dream on screen for the first time. If you ever want to know what drives me professionally, watch the first five minutes of this movie.
What nearly ruined Valerian for me were the performances of the two main actors (Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne). It would be bad enough if they were simply poor actors. But in fact, they were actively terrible and had almost no chemistry with each other throughout most of the movie. The only thing worse than when either of them was on the screen, was when they were both onscreen together. Their dialogue in the (mostly poor) script certainly didn’t do them any favors. Perhaps in real life they actively hate each other. Maybe they are human-like automatons of some sort. All I’m certain of is that they must NEVER appear in the same movie again, under any circumstances.
So, you may be thinking that I’m going to give this movie a terrible rating. I’m not. If I had had to pay theater prices to see Valerian, I very well might have. But for a free movie on Amazon? Go ahead and give it a chance if you have a couple hours to spare and like bright lights, lots of colors, and shiny things. It’s more entertaining than not, especially if you can ignore the two people with the most screen time. 5.5/10