Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets ★★★★

Visually stunning. The color pallet/art direction/visual effects in this movie is just gorgeous. The writing though is fine. I like to champion directors who do something different and against the grain of current blockbusters. This is why I championed Jupiter Ascending when a very small corner of the Internet did. That one I think has a better story overall and not too all over the place while this, weirdly like a movie I just watched called Speech & Debate last night, has a little too many rapid fire plot points where they spend 20% of the movie on one thing, move on to something else, and move on again without a lot of breathing room. It was just a lot to take it that I can't remember everything that happened in the movie honestly (it was also because I was pretty tired and trying to stay awake). All the alien designs are cool and the "planets" in the big city are better and more creative designs then the new Star Wars movies are doing. As someone who defends the prequels, something that gets in the way of going down the practical road is lack of creativity in world building making it looks like you filmed Star Wars in my back yard. I wish more scifi movies would world build like this. As much as I love Dane DeHaan, he was just ok here. He's always someone worth watching in my book but I think it was more the writing that did him wrong. I'm not a big fan of Cara Delevingne but she really was good here. Ethan Hawke has a fun cameo as well as John Goodman in voice only. Rihanna was ok but it was small so not too distracting. Clive Owen was fine too. The costumes, make up, sound design, and cinematography are also excellent. If you liked Jupiter Ascending, you'll probably be game for this. If you're looking for some fresh non franchised sci fi, you might enjoy this too. I saw it in 2D but it looks like it probably would have been great in 3D. Prepare for lots of cheesy one liners and a really terrible editing cut during the last scene that was so jarring I almost screamed in horror. Have fun!

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