Luc Besson

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Director:

Luc Besson

Starring:

Dane DeHaan

Cara Delevingne

Clive Owen

Plot:

A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

Review:

I wanted so bad to love this movie. I thought it looked so amazing, the world was super interesting, and I liked that one of the main characters was a woman. No matter how hard I try to love it, though, I can’t. After the ending I can’t even give it three stars.

First, and possibly the biggest problem, was the pacing. Oh my word it dragged in so many places and was just way too long.

I did not like the two leads. We were basically dropped into the middle of an ongoing relationship and just had to figure things out. Was Valerian being gross by continually asking Laureline to marry him? Were they in a point in their relationship where he was being cute? I have no idea and for me it came off as super annoying and I just wish she’d tell him to stfu.

I liked that she saved him and that he saved her, but he was the higher ranking officer so he was more capable than her? The power balance between the two was confusing, because, again we were just dropped into the middle of something that had been going on for a while with no explanation.

I wonder if Besson knew that this wasn’t going to get a sequel and just decided to do whatever the fuck he wanted whether it made sense for the viewer or not.

I enjoyed how it was shot and that everything wasn’t through a filter. Visually, it was really nice. The aliens were interesting and Alpha was a cool idea, but that’s all the positives I can think of.

Rhianna randomly being an alien shapeshifting stripper was weird and then she just dies. Dane DeHaan seemed to be trying a whole Keanu Reeves imitation with his voice that was also weird.

The ending made me bring it down a full star because it was just so ugh. Valerian saves the day and he and Lauraline are in an old Earth space ship and she agrees to marry him and they have sex. Seriously? It was just so stupid, especially, since I still had no idea what their relationship was supposed to be. She was forever telling him no and to focus on the job and he would just smile and ask again later.

I get that some people don’t like origin stories, but maybe this would have been better done that way. Or maybe they should have done a better job explaining the relationship. Or maybe there shouldn’t have been one at all. I know it’s based on a comic book, but it’s such an old obscure one that maybe they should have eased off the fan service and focused on people who just really want to see a good Sci-Fi story that has a happy ending. After this and Jupiter Ascending I’m never going to get an epic Sci-Fi movie series that isn’t Star Wars.

2/5

Lucy (2014)

Lucy

Lucy (2014)

Director:

Luc Besson

Starring:

Scarlett Johansson

Morgan Freeman

Min-Sik Choi

Plot:

A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

Review:

I know that the science in this movie is not real, I’m willing to give that a pass, though, I’m not willing to give other things.

It’s like someone said what do boys on the internet like? Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman and sci-fi shit. Ok, let’s make a movie. The entire thing was about what happens next, and Lucy’s decisions didn’t make sense, based on her past. Well, either that, or when you access more of your brain you don’t give a shit about anything but yourself and making sure you don’t die and are able to pass on your knowledge.

That is kind of the premise of the movie, I guess, which if that’s what he was trying to say than bravo to him, he got that across. What a sucky premise.

The story aside, I didn’t like all the shots of animals mixed in with the rest of the movie. It wasn’t necessary and just seemed to pad the running time. Also, when she accesses 100% of her brain and sees the universe, I wasn’t impressed with the imagery. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen Jupiter Ascending recently and it was visually stunning, but this came off as something from a science documentary. Again, that could have been what he was going for, but since evidently, there are streams of data coming from everything that fill the world, I thought he’d try to be more impressive.

Clearly I did not like the movie. The first preview I saw made me think that she was going to be some kind of action hero, and I would love to see a kick-ass female action hero. This is not what I got at all.

1/5

The Family (2013)

The-Family-Movie-2013

Director:

Luc Besson

Starring:

Robert De Niro

Michelle Pfeiffer

Tommy Lee Jones

Plot:

The Manzoni family, a notorious mafia clan, is relocated to Normandy, France under the witness protection program, where fitting in soon becomes challenging as their old habits die hard.

Review:

I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Possibly because I went into it not expecting much. De Niro showed how many different ways you can say the word fuck, and the many meanings it can have. Tommy Lee Jones wasn’t in it very much which is really a shame because he’s a great actor and I love him in pretty much everything. The makeup people did a very good job of making Pfeiffer look older and rougher around the edges, which is kind of sad because she’s a beautiful woman.

Normally I would give this movie a solid 3 stars but I bumped it up to 3.5 because of the surprise enjoyment factor.

3.5/5