REVIEW: ‘VALERIAN’

I have to say, VALERIAN was a bit of a disappointment. It’s funny, I used to joke that the hallmark of a bad movie was if the only goof thing you’d have to say about it was how good the visual effects were. And that was definitely the case here.

Now in all fairness, I read some reviews going in. And they all pretty much talked about how the movie was too long, boring, the leads had no chemistry, etc. And, honestly, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, it’s all pretty much true. 

I really do hate to say it, but Luc Besson has kind of fallen from my list of directors that I really look forward to seeing movies from. Amongst that list are Peter Jackson, Michael Bay, Paul W.S. Anderson to name a few. Basically, they’ve all made movies I’ve loved on more than one occasion, but of late, just make movies that, in my opinion, just really aren’t that entertaining.

With Besson, been a fan of his since LEON (or if you prefer, THE PROFESSIONAL), and then there was of course THE FIFTH ELEMENT. All just filled with character and imagination. And it had been awhile since we’d seen Besson behind the camera, then came LUCY… sadly, another disappointment.

But with VALERIAN, I was hopeful. Just early news that we could get our hands on, then came the teasers and trailers… just super stoked. And maybe the hype played into the disappointment for the movie? It’s entirely possible. But after seeing the movie… I just wasn’t sure what I watched.

In regards to the comments I mentioned earlier? It was definitely too long. I have no problems with long movies. But if it’s not cut to keep the movie going, well, that just leads to a boring movie too. But why was it too long? Well, the movie centers on a space station called Alpha, a station where a thousand planets reside. The movie itself was based on a European comic, VALERIAN AND LAURELINE,  of which it’s been reported that the director was a HUGE fan of. So I could only assume that the unneeded length was that Besson wanted to show the breath of all these planets and cultures as much as he could. But he really didn’t think about if he should. And in my opinion just led to a broken movie in terms of pacing.

As for chemistry? Yea, the leads had no chemistry whatsoever. It was a little torturous to watch for me to be terribly honest. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

I mean, VALERIAN definitely had it’s moments. For me, one of the best parts of the movie was when Rhianna came into the picture. But her role & participation was definitely wasted in the picture. But ultimately, at the heart of VALERIAN there seemed to be a solid story. Albeit, a bit of a predictable one. But there seemed to be a solid story. Only if they could’ve shaved off some more, if not all of the fat.

Honestly, I’d skip this one if you haven’t seen it already, and just rent if you get really curious.