Review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets fails to deliver

Luc Besson tried and failed to sell me Lucy a few years back, and he's done it again with Valerian.

He's back in Fifth Element territory - in space, surrounded by a swathe of fantastical otherworldly creatures and cultures and with some ambitious themes to explore.

Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne are Valerian and Laureline, special space agents sworn to protect the vast planetary conglomerate called Alpha.

Their relationship would be interesting if it wasn't so vacuous and derivative, and given how central they are to this scattershot story it's a pretty major flaw - but onwards they persist, on their mission to hunt down some menacing baddies.

Needless to say the future of the universe depends on it.

On the big screen, there's no question Besson's psychedelic vision of this universe captivates, and if story matters not to you, this may be enough - in which case, make it as big a screen as you can and fork out the extra for 3D or IMAX.

Given my love for Besson's The Fifth Element and I had high hopes for Valerian, hopes that were not delivered on.

Visually, sure, but even those get lost in the messy, often silly, and entirely uncoupled narrative.

Two stars.

* Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is in cinemas now.


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