Now, usually I do not review Netflix films. Partly because there aren’t many films worth reviewing on Netflix, but also because I prefer to go to small cinemas and support them whenever I can. Reviewing films from places such as The Electric in Birmingham, where I saw The Wife, is more meaningful to me. However, this so deeply impressed me that I feel a duty to bring it to your attention, so that you, too, may be astounded.
In the mid-26th century, special agents Valerian (DeHaan) and Laureline (Delevingne) must deal with a mysterious threat to the cosmically cosmopolitan deep-space metropolis of Alpha, home to millions of lifeforms from a thousand different worlds — while also dealing with their growing attraction to each other. Empire
Admittedly, plot-wise this film is not strong. the characters have to transport an adorable pearl-shedding space creature (below) from one place to another. That is the essence of the storyline. Bear this in mind when optimising your comfort level prior to diving into this film. If, however, you are not hardened and bitter like me, you can enjoy this film for what I believe it is: an extraordinary foray into the supernatural. I speak endlessly about the scope of my favourite albums in music. It is perhaps time that I transpose this discussion to film. Regardless of the missing plot, Valerian does boast a vast scope.
With jellyfish that eat memories, aquatic monsters the size of cathedrals and a bazaar so bizarre its exists simultaneously in different dimensions, it’s like Guardians Of The Galaxy might have turned out if James Gunn were a being made of pure mescaline. Empire
Of course my favourite scene was the Cabaret-esque Rihanna shape shifting strip show. As you can see from the cover photo, Rihanna is effecting a clin d’œil (or nod) to my favourite musical, Cabaret (1972). The importance of the chair in her routine was not lost on this reviewer.
Valerian is absolutely appealing. the ambit of Besson’s directorial prowess cannot be understated. This film could be described as Star Wars on crack. It would be hard not to recognise the contribution to astronomical cinematography which Valerian has made. One could almost say it is on par with the Fifth Element, Besson’s most acclaimed work. In all, I am impressed with this film in spite of its misgivings. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.