Movie Review: Luc Besson’s space romp Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is fun if you can stand the dumb

Whatever one may think of Luc Besson’s futuristic space opera Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, the idea of spending a cool $225 million so that Rihanna can mount a stripper pole and recite some lines from the poet Paul Verlaine’s “A Poor Young Shepherd” to an audience of one (in full high-tech space suit, sans helmet) in an extraterrestrial red light district named after a lesser-known Sylvester Stallone movie with a following among French cinephiles—all while being accompanied on keys by a leather-cowboy-hatted, multi-facial-pierced Ethan Hawke, as a character named Jolly The Pimp—has got to count as some kind of art. Because what’s the point of making stupidly expensive, effects-smothered movies if you can’t do things on a whim?

Valerian, which was adapted by Besson from Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières’ long-running French sci-fi comics series Valérian And Laureline, is the …

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