VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

Cert 12A 136mins Stars 3

Take a holiday trip to a city in space with this spectacular looking sci-fi adventure.

War is threatened when aliens kidnap a space police commander, so a pair of glamorous intergalactic agents blast off to save the universe.

It’s based on a 1970’s French comic which was one of the key influences of the original Star Wars, and everything feels very familiar.

However we’re never bored because there is always something glorious to look at. It’s a non-stop parade of dazzlingly beautiful aliens, spaceships and planets.

But even mad French director Luc Besson is so busy gawping like a tourist at the amazing sights, the story is lost in the rush to see what’s around the next corner.

After her astonishingly poor performances in last year’s superhero fiasco, Suicide Squad, model turned actress Cara Delevingne rescues her fledgling career with a terrifically smart, sexy and kick ass performance.

As Sergeant Laureline she has to carry the story due to her co-star being horrifically miscast.

This big budget blockbuster needs leading man swagger, such as Chris Pratt provides in Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy.

Instead we have Dane DeHaan, an intense actor well suited to small indie movies but is skill set is utterly wrong for the role of Major Valerian, and who lacks the authority required for the role.

Nor does DeHaan have a shred of romantic chemistry with Delevingne. Plus Valerian is noticeably more dim and less effective than his subordinate Laureline, but the script never sees this as a problem.

Popstar Rihanna makes a brief appearance as an adult entertainer, she has multiple costume changes and her stunt double does good work.

Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke, Rutger Hauer appear game for a laugh and for some reason jazz composer Herbie Hancock beams by as the Defence Minister.

The city of a thousand planets is a lovely looking place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to go back.

 

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