Welcome to 2017's "Jupiter Ascending." Luc Besson has reportedly dreamt of adapting the beloved "Valerian" comic book since at least his "Fifth Element" days. It shows: the film arrives onscreen with enough dazzling spaceships, creatures, and planets to fill an entire Disney "Star Wars" trilogy. It's a shame that the massive production hinges on the cast-against-type Dane DeHaan, whose character seldom proves heroic.
A highly entertaining hot mess of a movie, stuffed full of visual treats and a surfeit of bonkers ideas - I predict a reappraisal and midnight screenings within a decade. Its real problem are the two leads, who I don't doubt are fine dramatic actors, but who possess neither the charisma or chemistry to carry this kind of roaring tentpole.
Rihanna was a revelation. She came to slay! Cara (btw, didn't know she also sings!) fit perfectly in the role with her modelling-robotic walk and her adorable awkwardness. Hawke made me laugh like never before. Even though the opening sequence is literally out of this world and meeting Mül mindblowing, it took me some time to be completely immersed in the beginning and then felt kinda lost towards the end.
[3D] One of the sweetest opening credit sequences I've seen in a while: a myriad of genders, professions, nationalities, races, ethnic groups and species hold & shake hands while 'Space Oddity' by David Bowie plays along as the space station is being extended (As of now the most moving homage to Bowie - a collaborative genius within the film and music art world). Cara: do caralho. Rihanna: an actress is born. ▽
THE FIRST 20 MINUTES: Joint-favorite film of the year (so far) alongside the first hour of OKJA.
THE REST 3.290 MINUTES: Joint-least favorite film of the year (so far) alongside the whole 5.700 minutes of GHOSTS IN THE SHELL.
Visually marvelous but over bloated adaptation of the comic series from director Besson. Besson is a visceral director who often puts the optical before performance and story in his films and that is certainly what this film suffers from. Episodic in nature the viewer is often left thinking 'now what' in the films ramshackle plotting. Neither Dehaan or Delevingne impress much here adding a certain blandness.
A breeze of fresh air in the rancid stench of the movie marketplace. The plot is convoluted but the themes mean well and are reflective of the imperialism of governments past and present. I'm mixed on Dane DeHaan as Valerian, he comes off as stilted at times but he grows in the role as the movie chugs along. Cara Delevingne is a delightful Laureline and the rest of the cast fares well. A charming movie all in all.
Despite boasting some of the most impressive and dazzling visuals of the decade, Valerian suffers from what I feared most. DeHaan and Delevingne are subpar actors, lacking chemistry and charisma throughout this bloated space opera, and the plot is so convoluted that, by the third act, you're just admiring how pretty everything is. Its averageness is almost heartbreaking given that David Bowie-scored opening scene.