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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Discussion in 'Film & Television' started by ThinkerX, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    I took time out from other obligations to see this flick today.

    First, it's mostly a environment oriented special effects production. The world around the characters often changes dramatically in the literal blink of an eye. I would also point out the action takes place in *two* highly diverse (weird) cities, not one.

    The plot has some issues, but is also more complex than what you would expect from a movie like this. I found it annoying that the bad guys identity, though not his motivation, was practically written across the screen in big glowing letters early on. Almost as an afterthought is one of the most vicious, intense space battle scenes I have seen, topping those in 'Battlestar Galactica' and 'Star Wars.' The 'why' of that battle is barely even hinted at.

    To me, the MC's - Valerian and his female sidekick - could have been better developed. The former is a major league skirt chaser who (almost) inexplicably changes his ways, while the latter is the classic 'ice queen.' Many of the secondary characters were better developed character wise. Notable ones include the clueless tourists, a Jabba style crime boss, several soldiers, two or three members of a badly wronged alien race, a impressive shape-shifter, a drunken submariner, a trio of alien information brokers, and well, better stop there.

    The movie did end with sequel potential: a very capable foe of Valerians vows vengeance for the agents interference in the first part of the movie; and I have no difficulty envisioning further issues arising from the space battle sequence, despite it taking place way in the past.
     
  2. CelestialAeon

    CelestialAeon Dreamer

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    Thanks for the review! I've read that it is a bit too chaotic and unclear when it comes to the storyline and that the characters don't really feel well thought out. I think I will see it at some point, but probably not in theaters. I have a gut feeling it might be one of those movies that I don't find energy to watch completely.
     
  3. wirehead

    wirehead Acolyte

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    There were a few things that were my catnip. Granted, I tend to like campy stuff like Flash Gordon. Also, I checked out a few of the original translated graphic novels for comparison from the library after I saw it.

    For one, even though Cara Delevingne is a bit of an untrained actress and thusly is a bit inconsistent, there were a bunch of moments with her portrayal Laureline worked for me, even though she would kinda default to ice queen otherwise. I liked her version of Laureline better than her version of Enchantress. On one hand she's done up all girly with a bit of a male-gaze version of feminism, but on the other hand, she's frequently the more mature and resourceful character.

    If you read Ambassador of the Shadows, you kinda see that they kept a *lot* of the visual images. I'm still feeling like I'm missing something in translation when I read the book because the motivations and endings made more sense in the movie, even though the movie was chaotic.
     
  4. CelestialAeon

    CelestialAeon Dreamer

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    I haven't actually read the original comics, I think I'll probably read them first as it gives a context for the film as well. I usually like to read the original works before seeing the cinematic versions as that way the original feeling is created in my mind before seeing it on screen.
     
  5. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    I found the visuals and the world around really interesting. Too bad I can't say the same for the main plot and characters.

    So much lost potential. There's a fantastic story in there somewhere, but too bad Bisson didn't have the chops to draw it out from the source material.
     
  6. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Yeah... I saw this. I found it mostly forgettable. I did not care for the MC, and did not care if he got the girl. She was lovely, of course, but the story was just too much of everything and not enough of something.
     
  7. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    That mostly sums up my view, though many of the secondary characters were interesting in their own rights.
     

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