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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (12A)

Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

The critical consensus

VFX Oscar glory seems inevitable, but a formulaic plot and underwhelming leads are just two of Valerian’s thousand problems.

***(*)(*)Jordan Farley, Total Film, 19/07/2017

A wildly ambitious space opera, but also a self-indulgent narrative morass. Sometimes, it seems, creativity can benefit from a few limitations.

**(*)(*)(*)Dan Jolin, Empire Online, 20/07/2017

An expensive folly from a director indulging his very worst tendencies.

Adam Woodward, Little White Lies, 21/07/2017

While the Valerian-Laureline chemistry is watchable enough, despite DeHaan sleepwalking through his role, the big issue is that Besson fails to generate any real sense of danger.

**(*)(*)(*)James Mottram, The List, 31/07/2017

A crash course in both the worst and best of French director Luc Besson, Valerian looks spectacular but its storytelling proves muddled.

**(*)(*)(*)Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent, 02/08/2017

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a summer movie that leaves the block unbusted. In fact, it leaves the block pristine and box-fresh and, if you kept the receipt, in a fit condition to be returned to the block store.

**(*)(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 03/08/2017

Instead there is just a juvenile comic strip adventure that keeps its foot on the accelerator and hopes that you can forgive the lack of real substance beneath the razzle-dazzle swagger of its surface allure.

***(*)(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 04/08/2017

Luc Besson devises a terrific opening sequence, then loses the thread as thoroughly as Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne fail to kindle chemistry.

***(*)(*)Wendy Ide, The Observer, 06/08/2017

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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