Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.  

/////USA/United Kingdom/, 2017.  , , , , , , , , .  Screenplay by Luc Besson, based on the comic book series Valerian and Laureline by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Luc Besson, .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

Luc Besson tries to recapture the spirit and look of his problematic but still superior Fifth Element with this adaptation of a comic book series, the most expensive film made in France to date (a record, incidentally, that Element also held at the time).  and  are inexplicably cast as intergalactic security officers whose assignment to retrieve a “converter”, a little creature that can be fed any substance and replicate it in massive quantities, takes them across the universe away from greedy humans and towards a dying, peaceful alien race.  A picaresque narrative and a bubbly look should be enough to guarantee empty-headed fun, but Besson does not have a history of being light-hearted enough to understand when he is making a guilty pleasure, and the whole thing lacks energy or bounce.   The lack of chemistry between the leads, who are both terrible, doesn’t help much, but even that would be bearable if the pop-science design, sort of a computer generated Barbarella aesthetic, didn’t look so cheap.

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