Recently I watched the much anticipated science fiction film “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” Crowds awaited this film with eager eyes because of the sheer scale of the world building the film attempts to accomplish. Like any other movie goer I walked into this experience expecting to be wowed, and wowed I was, but here’s what the movie got wrong.
When making a major motion picture, it’s common to use big name actors to further advertise the final product because they have brand recognition among audiences. Valerian blotched this by hiring a pop culture star who is not an actor and giving them a minor role in the film that felt haphazardly put together. Beyonce may be a powerhouse but truthfully she did not add much to this project, her voice & her character’s presence seemed out of place. The character works well as a plot device yet it consistently reminded me that I am watching a film.
One might also say that this film was lacking in quality voice overs, especially towards the beginning. The way I see it, the executive members of the production team decided they didn’t like quotes from the script during post-production. Voice overs are quite literally dropped over the original dialogue with no regard for the animation or the way the actors mouth moved during the shot. This is a good reason to never “fix it in post”. If the film had not been so effects heavy, there would be ample budget to simply reshoot the scene. I’m not complaining, the special effects were dazzling and awe-inspiring. However, as a viewer I would gladly sacrifice a shot or two for scenes that don’t take my mind out of the movie-watching experience.
As a viewer, I enjoyed the film and loved the theme. But as a filmmaker, I would likely give the advice to the creators to be more conscious of effects-heavy budgets with no regard to continuity.