Luc Besson, the director of Lucy and The Fifth Element, returns to take another swing at the sci-fi genre, but does his new project keep up with the standards of his previous films or does it fall flat?
In the distant future, hundreds of aliens and alien cultures come together to coexist in the city of Alpha. Within this city there are two agents, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne). Valerian and Laureline travel through Alpha to uncover a mystery involving alien extinction and corruption.
The effects are easily the best element of this movie. The design of each alien species is unique and holds its own original variety. The best of the visuals are seen through the action sequences. The environments created through CGI work very cohesively with the acting. It never seems entirely obvious that the actors are in front of a green screen.
This is where the movie’s quality derails. The plot starts off as very straightforward, but about halfway through the movie, the adventures of Valerian and Laureline take an alternate path that seems to have nothing to do with the central story. By the last 20 minutes, the story tried to return to the central point, but it felt so disorganized and pointless. As I watched the movie, it seemed like the visuals were made first, then Besson rushed to make a story that would fit all of these sequences together like mismatching puzzle pieces. While I did find the humor from the protagonists to be quite amusing, the film lacked an enticing protagonist. As a lover of the sci-fi genre, I honestly felt bored at some points.
While Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets has some spectacular and stunning visual effects, it comes at the expense of its plot.