Luc Besson, most famous for his previous movies The Fifth Element and Taken, tries to recapture the magic that made the first work. At first glance, the movie really seems like a rehash of The Fifth Element, but it definitely is able to stand on its own.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Plantes is probably unprecedented in its creativity and design. The movie is almost all green screen and CGI but it doesn't show. The special effects and overall look of the movie is crazy amazing. In previous reviews I have commented on how the CGI was gorgeous, but this movie takes to a whole other level. Not only was it beautiful, but the pure creativity was mind blowing. You will not see a movie more inventive than this one. The creativity on display seems endless as well because of how much content is in the movie.
But not everything in the movie was as great as the CGI and design. The movie relies heavily on its lead actors' ability to have chemistry and deliver their lines convincingly. This pretty much never happens. The script doesn't help this fact either, but the acting was just simply bad. It's not like the actors can't act. Dane DeHaan plays the male lead in the movie and has proven his acting ability in other movies. He seems to be miscast in the role as his delivery of lines was unconvincing and dry. The script calls for immense chemistry from him and his costar Cara Delevingne. That chemistry was nowhere to be found. There is more chemistry between a random extra and Cara Delevingne's character, that lasts less than a minute, than she has with Dane Dehaan in the entire movie. Rihanna was also in the movie for a short amount of time, but she did a pretty good job with her part. She played her role convincingly and was actually pleasant to watch compared to the headline actors.
I said that the script didn't do the actors any favors and I meant it. The story is too high concept and just has the characters do too much. The movie is cringy when it tries to be funny and never really captures the mystery that it is trying to establish. At its core, Valerian is a mystery movie where you know "who did it" from the very beginning. There are loose ends throughout the movie that also makes it harder to watch.
Overal the movie was hard to watch. There is a lot that is not good about the movie, but the visuals do a good job distracting you from its flaws.
7/10 It tried really hard to be good, and sometimes it was pretty good
Spidy Finally Home? I should get the fact that I actually liked Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man out of the way. His chance as Spider-Man was hindered by some bad screenwriters, but he was good. I can admit, though, that he would not have worked in this movie. Spider-Man: Homecoming is a rebirth for Spider-Man the way the last reboot was supposed to be. This interpretation of Spider-Man was the most authentic and honest version of the character I have seen in a movie.
I do not fully credit Marvel for this movie, though it is obvious that with their involvement it was a better product than the Amazing Spider-Man try. What really pulled me into the movie was Tom Holland as Spider-Man and Michael Keaton. I know that Michael Keaton doesn't really want to make blockbuster movies, but he is just so good. I am not the first person to say that Marvel has a problem with their villains, but Keaton breaks that trend. He really brings the cold and stone hard to the budding Tom Holland as Spider-Man.
The story was actually pretty good in the movie as well. It told a really honest story of Spider-Man, more in line with its source material. This was definitely the right direction because it definitely gives Spider-Man as a character more likable. The movie wasn't the most amazing movie I have ever seen or anything but it was super watchable. Everything made sense and it just flowed really great. Did I mention it was really funny, cause it is. This movie had a lot of laughs, but not necessarily from Spider-Man himself. That is one of the things that Andrew Garfield was definitely better at (I don't apologize for bringing Andrew Garfield back up, and Spider-Man cracking jokes is more in line with the source material).
Overall, this is definitely the summer blockbuster that has been missing. Since the summer movie season started with Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, including that movie, there has been a lack of exciting big movies. I can say that if there was one big blockbuster to watch in the summer, this would be that movie.
8/10 The homecoming part almost feels more symbolic than part of the movie