Friday, July 21, 2017

Movie review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Trailer
Yesterday at this time I had never heard of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. But an article on the writer and director Luc Besson appeared on Wired (here) and the trailer looked exciting (here). So I convinced Marlene to go with me at the 5 o'clock showing right after work.

Briefly, this is Star Wars and Avatar story lines combined by the writer and director of The Fifth Element. Its 2 hours and 17 minutes of run-time is action-packed with more space ships and alien species than any other movie you've seen. Its a fun romp with action-packed chase scenes, explosions, battles, and "sci-fi action violence" that gives it the expected PG-13 rating.

But there's nothing new here. You'll findLuke and Obi-Wan at the cantina, Jabba the Hutt and Luke Skywalker facing off, underwater monsters trying to eat the ship with Padme and Anakin, Leia and Han in the garbage chute, Coruscant "car" chase with Anakin and Obi-wan, faceless soldiers encased in all-black shiny plastic, Obi-wan and Anakin facing off the droid attack in the hangar bay on Naboo, a changling.

How about blue-colored aliens at peace with their environment destroyed by the military but a flawed soldier comes to rescue their planet? Ya, I've seen it before.

There's no character development, no intelligent conversation. Just action. This is an exciting, colorful, "summer fun" sci-fi action movie that will appeal to Star Wars fans. But it lacks originality.

RobertEbert.com review