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Review Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017): Cara Delevingne is what Delilah was for Samson. She ruins a lot!

genre: science fiction, comic book adaptation, action, adventure

Is it fair of me to blame one person for the failure of a film? Of course not but that does not mean that she deserves leniency. Every scene she is part of takes you out of the film. That would not be such a big deal if not for the fact that she is in the majority of scenes. Why is that?

She is pretty. No denying that but her acting skills are appalling. Not once did she achieve to strike a cord with me. Not even when put against other actors including Dane DeHaan. He makes it very easy for her since he is a very capable actor and even convinces as the charming and handsome here while he isn't even handsome. Now that is acting. But there is zero chemistry between him and her. He had better chemistry with Rihanna as Bubble in human shape and CGI form. Think about this for a minnute. He has better chemistry with something animated than a real human being played by Cara Delevingne. She constantly looks like someone who is above everybody. Like she is the most beautiful and most precious being in the universe and that all should worship her. I considered that this could be because of her very blue eyes. But I dismissed that after seeing scenes where she managed to look less smug and arrogant. Does make me wonder why Luc Besson did not instruct her to act more like that or not hire another actress in the first place. Laureline (Cara) should have been left out of this project and had Valerian (DeHaan) team up with Bubble (Rihanna). Rihanna might also not be that good of an actress at least she does perform in a way that an audience can resonate with. Plus she is leagues and leagues better than Cara.

To be fair the plot of Valerian and the City of a Thousands Planets is very problematic. Events just happen and it very rarely gets explained why certain things are happening. Only much later in the film you will get some idea and by then you will already have lost considerable interest because of the slow pacing and lack of true excitement. Valerian looks great and you can tell a lot of work has been put in. But it did a very poor job of telling you what this world is which is a real shame since that deserved a lot of attention. Instead the focus lies on Valerian and Laureline getting tangled up in some messy affairs involving blue aliens and other parties. I wanted to care about them but I couldn't because of Cara and her inability to appear human. In one scene especially she is supposed to explain Valerian to be more human, compassionate and less about rules. Her delivery of her dialogue could not be more terrible and laughable. She who acts like the coldest Ice queen you can imagine is going to tell Valerian who up until this point has been social and caring throughout how to act and be? Please! That is a downright insult to the audience. Shame on you Luc Besson for having put in Cara and not giving us a better movie.

If you like me were hoping for something similar to The Fifth Element than I really have to disappoint you. Valerian is nothing like that. Valerian takes itself far too seriously and never offers the spectacle and thrills The Fifth Element did. Sure there is a lot of eye candy but what good will that do without substance. For the most part I did manage to enjoy the film but it is very unlikely I will ever watch it again. Ethan Hawke and Clive Owen are also in this and they are underused.  Two actors who are superior to DeHaan and Cara in every way but they get to be glorified cameos. What is the point of having them in the film then? Honestly that just makes me mad. No Luc Besson, that is all on you.

Next to Cara Delevingne Luc Besson is also to blame for the film failing. It seems like he has forgotten what made him such a good director and film maker in the first place. I can't recommend this. It's not super bad and there is enough going on to keep you entertained while it lasts. But it will also be frustrating since you can tell that a good film is hidden underneath trying to crawl out. 

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