Valerian is one wild ride
tone for a film that refuses to ever rest, explain itself or play by the rules.
If you like your sci-fi at the Douglas Adams, Doctor Who and Terry Pratchett end of the scale, then you might like this much as I did.
The plot, what there is of it, mostly revolves around a conspiracy to cover up the destruction of the home world of the people of Mul. All of whom look – in a nice way – like the progeny of Kate Moss and a Klingon.
The planet of hairless and mostly naked vaguely reptiloid supermodels got caught in the crossfire of some great interstellar bust-up years before. And it’s pretty obvious that Clive Owen – an actor who almost always looks slightly miscast, here playing the requisite Brit baddie – is in it up to his vaguely Nazi-esque, but lime-green, breeches.
In truth, the plot is just an excuse to fling DeHaan, Cara Delevingne – as Laureline – and sundry others into a succession of set-pieces that can only escalate in their ludicrousness.
The Rihanna-as-shape-shiftingburlesque-dancer scene that is all over the trailers exists for no reason other than that it can. But as a feat of design and film-making it’s going to be ripped-off and imitated for years.
By bombarding us with spectacle in every frame, Besson keeps us watching, but never actually absorbed. But, for all that, as
kept me grinning pretty much from beginning to end. –
As a feat of design – glaring, absurd, joyous and insane design – Valerian won’t easily be toppled.