Benjamin Maio Mackay
Valerian - 3.5 Stars
Luc Besson’s latest sci-fi film feels like a modern-day Fifth Element, but lacks some of the intricacies.
A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
Luc Besson as a writer/director has always been wildly inconsistent, but his latest film is an enjoyable ride. It’s based upon a series of French comic books and the film does feel very European, which is perhaps why it did so poorly in the US. Visually it’s beautiful, there are whole CGI worlds and species created, all look unique, and realistic. The performances are a little sub-par, with Cara Delevingne and Rhianna being stand-outs. Dane DeHaan fails to make his character likeable, though that may be down to the writing.
Plot wise some of the intricacies and subplots are excellent, but at times the character development suffers. The romantic story feels forced and there’s no real chemistry between the leads. It perhaps borrows too heavily from Besson’s earlier work.
Overall it’s visually excellent and a lot of fun. A great sci-fi “romp!”
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of eOne Entertainment