I wanted Goosebumps. I wanted them so bad. All I got was a mild case of the disappointment blues.
The concept for “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” sat on the shelves for many years waiting for technology to evolve. My expectations were guarded but I was hoping for something dazzling and spectacular. I was looking for a spark of inspiration like the first notes of a John Williams score from “Superman: the Movie” or the original “Star Wars: A New Hope.”
I was left with a shrug of the shoulders and another one to debate among friends and colleagues.
The story centers on the planet Alpha and the lead character Valerian (Dane DeHaan) who shares a certain kinship with Laureline (Cara Delevingne) his partner of many years. The duo receives orders from Commander Arün Filitt (Clive Owen) who wants a "situation" on Alpha taken care of so that things will return to normal.
A minor storyline involves Bubble (Rihanna), a character introduced to seduce Valerian. She works for Ethan Hawke’s character Jolly the Pimp and shares a couple of dances with the hero. The characters appear only briefly but their scenes are filled with amazing visual eye candy that works wonders in the latter part of the movie. There are plot twists in abundance, but they don’t trick the viewer too much.
I wanted more of a movie from “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” Americans will just have to wait for the inevitable sequel in the years to come.