Film Review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets


Written by James Reilly – Student Pages Entertainment Journalist/Film Critic

Film Rating: 


I had a lot of hype going into this film, and the trailers really pulled you in, whilst the film itself did not totally disappoint. 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is set on Alpha, a space station that is home to thousands of civilisation’s living together in peace and sharing information. However when a threat is about to possibly wipe it out, its up to our heroes Valerian (played by Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (played by Cara Delevinge) to save the day.

The film has a lot of positives. Its visually very interesting, and I can’t help but smile at the sheer imaginative creativity on display. Being a huge science fiction fan, and seeing such worlds brought to life was very enjoyable. The alien races were fun and cool, and the action was pretty well done. It is however when we get to the characters that we seem to falter.

I do not buy DeHaan and Delevinge in these roles, and I do not buy these characters at all. Within minutes of meeting them Valerian is asking Laureline to marry him, which for me, seems outrageous. Their whole relationship seems forced, rushed and there for the sake of it. Delevinge was not bad in the role, but she is not a particularly good actress (unlike Rihanna who like Delevinge, acting isn’t her main job but yet delivers a decent, emotional performance with little screen time). DeHaan however (who I think can be a good actor) is horribly miscast here. I don’t think physically or acting ability wise he can pass as a leading man carrying this type of film and while I do think both actors were not right for the part, the script doesn’t do much to help them – regardless of what actors you cast for the role.

If you’re a fan of science fiction, like I am, there is a lot of love. Sadly any breath taking moments just seem very passable. Overall, good ideas, however, sadly, just poor execution.

Follow James at @JamesisGinger