When I saw Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets I said nice things about it, and I would like to unconditionally retract those statements. My review was basically, "The first half was OK", but I was wrong. On an attempted second viewing, I found it to be complete garbage.

Here, have some TV Yelling:

I am hating Valerian so much right now.
Don't you just want to punch the tech bro protagonist in the face so hard?
So hard.
I always knew Burning Man would become a mall.
Did you notice the white African aliens lived in vaginas?
Yup. Also they don't have nIpples.
Boy women sure suck! Ha ha ha this movie is hilarious.
It's like the same five mysoginistic jokes on repeat.
"You ruined my dress!"
Ha ha "women drivers" again.
Yeah they think they can drive good, LOL
Oh I remember noticing the first time -- there are 10 people here wearing military uniforms, and no two of them are the same cut!
Yeah those uniforms are pure arts and crafts
"This is a direct order from the government!" said no one ever
Oh and here's the part where the girl's space suit has GIANT boobs!
It's not like this movie opened with a gratuitious bikini scene establishing her boob situation or anything.
God this is bad.
Why are there circuits stitched onto his hat?
Oh here come the Space Jews!
They're greedy and little, it's a joke, so funny!
This looks like a really irritating video game.
Why doesn't his space suit have giant boobs?
Because he is a giant boob.
What was the movie with the roller-skating werewolf in space?
Wow. No clue.
Jupiter Ascending
The Space Jews are back! And women are unpredictable! Ha ha ha!
She just said "I'm a good driver"
So funny when women say that!
Ok they dubbed this badly. She said "stick my head up his ass" not "on his mouth".
Why did they kill Rihanna? This movie sucks.
Ha! I'm pretty sure Rihanna died because she was sick of their shit. Imagine being her and having to ask a male lead over and over "do you like my performance? do you really like my performance? Was my performance okay?" Surprised she didn't burn the sets to the ground.

Dude I tried to rewatch Valerian last night and OMG it is so bad. How did I think it was even remotely tolerable?
Yeah, I almost feel like once you've seen the ending, the whole thing becomes retroactively worse.
There were visuals I liked, but the wheels came off really early, and then it was just... dumb.
It's like Jupiter Ascending bad.
Oh man. I'm going to push back only because I feel like that diminishes my personal gauge of badness.
What even is the basement when you calibrate against Jupiter Ascending??
I mean, the first time around I thought it compared favorably to The Fifth Element - another movie I only liked half of. The wheels come off that one as soon as fucking Ruby Rhod shows up. The whole Fhloston Paradise third act is worthless. But no.
Good comparison, with similar breakdowns after strong early visuals, but yeah, Valerian is much worse.
Oh, as for the basement -- I just watched Singularity, the new John Cusack movie. It was worse than Maze Runner 2.
Mal described it as "a prequel to Cleopatra 2525 where Cusack plays Kreegan" but THAT sounds like something I'd enjoy!
Oh, yeah, come on, man! Don't tease with the Cleopatra 2525!
And FTR I actually watched both Maze Runner movies (drunk) and if you added up every second I remember from their combined run times, I think it would come out to about 12 seconds.
Maze Runner has the stupidest Young Adult Fantasy trope of all time - everyone has amnesia, but we are supposed to root for "underdog" to win "girl" over "bully"? They have amnesia! They literally have no characterization! How am I supposed to pick the "good guy"?
And how is this a trope, anyway? Because it is. It actually makes the writing harder and the characters even less relatable. Why do they do this??
Because young people are stupid.
That answer is insufficient. I mean, I at least understand why at a certain age I was drawn to a hateful book like Ender's Game. The amnesia thing just doesn't make any sense. Is it a kink?
I get the feeling that all that young adult fiction is designed to allow the tween audience to just pick from blank slate characters to decide who they want to "be." Like Harry Potter and the different "houses" at the wizard school. It's all "what kind of witch are you?"
Oh man MySpace Quizzes metastasized.
Hoo boy yes.

The mini Rihanna video would have been ok if they hadn't spoiled it with the reaction shots back to Leering Dude-Bro and the inexplicable Groovie Mann pianist:

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12 Responses:

  1. I did like the one bit in Jupiter Ascending that was a reference to Brazil.

  2. says:

    is that a Jeff Goldblum world-issue neck thing? please don't tell me I have to watch this to understand the MCU

  3. Good to know that the Cleopatra prequel sucks. I'll skip it.

  4. Yuma Tripp says:

    I tried to watch it. I lasted 11 minutes. 11.

  5. I thought it was pretty bad.
    The dance scene really killed the whole film. It was so pointless and demeaning.

    I liked most of the spaceships and cities. So if they would taken all lifeforms and storyline out of the film it might have been OK.

    But maybe the whole thing is proof that CGI is just too easy nowadays.

  6. Doodpants says:

    Maybe it's just me, but when someone's first thought upon seeing the small, greedy creatures is "Hey, they're Jewish!", that says more about the viewer's prejudices than the film's.

  7. thielges says:

    I had no intention of seeing this movie but this has piqued my interest. Damn you!

    (I saw Jupiter Ascending too but can’t remember anything. All that is left in my cranial long term storage is that the “seen” bit is set. Maybe that is a blessing in disguise )

  8. Cat Mara says:

    How about that? I watched "Jupiter Ascending" last night and thought, "wow, this is just like 'Valerian' in that it's basically a showreel for a CGI shop with no fucking heart to it either"

  9. ennui says:

    hey now, sure the space uniforms were dumb looking but they were totally haute couture, there wasn't a single pret-a-porter garment in that whole blasted movie.

    but if you step back a bit, Valerian almost approaches Transformers I in it's delving into the character of total assholes. except that, obviously, the asshole techbro dude is incel and Valerian is his fantasy about how big a raging dick he would be to his supermodel girlfriend... if there was any girl who was good enough to be his girlfriend, that is.