A while ago, I promised to do another review of a movie in 4DX. And here it is.
If you want to read about my first 4DX experience and whether or not it was worth it, you can certainly do so. The movie I saw then was Ghost in the Shell. But here is a little spoiler, I thought it was pretty great then.
Was it just as good the second time around?
Technically speaking, yes, every aspect of the 4DX experience worked this time. There was water, wind, scent (even though I wasn’t very fond of whatever smell they decided to incorporate into the film), movement, whooshing, and fog. Emotionally, everything worked as well. I smiled from ear to ear at every space chase and fight scene. And I even pretended to steer the spaceship through space like a true agent (don’t judge, my driving is great, okay?).
Did the effects add or detract from the viewing experience?
To be completely honest, there were instances of both. I think the 3D aspect especially was the biggest culprit. Sometimes everything would look absolutely stunning and other times, like when they showed Alpha, the city of a thousand planets, the image got a bit muddled, which in turn gave me a bit of a headache (or it might have been my contacts). The rest of the features, however, were like a cherry on top of an already entertaining cake of a film.
When Valerian and Laureline sped through space at the speed of light or ran away from a plethora of bad guys, I got to feel like I’m right there with them. I also felt it when they fell down and hit their backs on the ground or when bullets whizzed by their ears. I felt water when Laureline stuck her head up a very special jellyfish and wind as the princess of Mül looked out at the azure ocean of her planet. I loved it.
How was the film?
I enjoyed it. Simple as that.
Luc Besson’s Valerian is a movie based on comics and anime called Valerian and Laureline. And apparently it’s his love project because he crowd-sourced and independently funded it himself. You want to know what the budget was?
Wait for it.
Wait for it.
Wai… ah, never mind. You probably already peeked at the numbers anyhow.
The budget was somewhere between $177-209 million. That’s quite a bit for an independent film, don’t ya think?
But maybe that’d explain why the visuals in Valerian were so stunning.
As for the plot. I thought it was fast-paced and pretty clear cut. There were moments of confusion that happened once or twice but that was because of absolutely horrendous writing and definitely NOT because I was so distracted by the graphics and all the 4D mumbo jumbo that I forgot to pay attention to the story. Nope, not at all.
So the film started out with a montage of how the space program grew over the centuries and how humans met a whole lot of crazy awesome aliens. Then it almost made me cry (no spoilers, sorry). And then it was nonstop action and flirting and awesomesauce from there onward.
The characters were pretty great too. Yes, some might say Valerian and Laureline weren’t as developed in the movie as they are in the anime but I wouldn’t be the best judge of that, since I haven’t seen the anime nor read the comic. From what I did see though, I thought the characters and their relationships were portrayed quite well. I especially enjoyed watching Cara Delevingne’s performance. She was all spunk and forward momentum. Dane DeHann didn’t disappoint either. His smirks and punchy one-liners were quite fun. Rihanna’s character was also quite an artist, if I do say so myself. And while this film wasn’t exactly a paragon of in-depth character development, it did manage to endear me to its cast of colorful inhabitants.
Overall, I think the film and the 4D were both great experiences. And I pride myself in being quite picky about these matters, being an aspiring filmmaker and all (don’t let my pretentiousness get to you). I didn’t even like Cara Delevingne before this, so there.
I give Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets a solid 4 stars (that’s out of 5)! If you can, you should go see this film in theaters. And if you want to feel like you’ve stepped into another dimension, then maybe you should consider catching it in 4DX (that is if you have a location nearby). The visuals and the interactive experience doesn’t disappoint, promise!
Now it’s your turn. Have you seen Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets? Have you been to any 4DX movies? Dunkirk, perhaps? Did you like it? And aren’t these little fellas just cute (I dare you to say no)?