Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Luc Besson
Based on:  Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières‘s comic Valérian and Laureline
Cast: Dane DeHaanCara DelevingneClive OwenRihannaEthan HawkeHerbie HancockKris WuSam SpruellAlain ChabatRutger HauerPeter HudsonXavier GiannoliLouis LeterrierEric RochantBenoît JacquotOlivier MegatonElizabeth DebickiMathieu KassovitzJohn Goodman
Seen on: 31.7.2017
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Plot:
Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Care Delevingne) are operatives, charged with maintaining peace across the universe. A new mission brings them into possession of a converter, the last creature of its kind. But they can’t expect to be the only ones who want that converter. Their mission brings them to Alpha, a city made for all kinds of species that harbors a secret in its heart.

The fact that this film thought that it would be the right move to take the comic Valerian and Laureline and transform it into Valerian alone, is already pretty indicative of the decision making in the entire film: it might look cool at first glance, but it’s short-sighted, stupid and offensive.

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Lucy (2014)

Lucy
Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Luc Besson
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked, Julian Rhind-Tutt

Plot:
Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is a student in Taiwan who gets mixed up in a drug deal. Suddenly she finds herself with a plastic bag full of a new drug stitched into her stomach and supposed to deliver it to Europe. But she never arrives there. Instead the bag ruptures and Lucy absorbs the drug which activates untold capacities in her brain. When Lucy has control of herself again, she needs to figure out what to do with her newfound powers.

This film is an absolute mess. Even if you don’t take into account that it’s basic premise is already wrong, it doesn’t make sense at all, there’s some amazingly casual racism, and above all it is so stupid that it probably diminishes your brain function considerably as you watch it.

Lucy

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Brick Mansions (2014)

Brick Mansions
Director: Camille Delamarre
Writer: Luc Besson
Remake of: Banlieu 13
Cast: Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA, Gouchy Boy, Catalina Denis, Robert Maillet, Bruce Ramsay

Plot:
As crime has been rising in Detroit, it was decided that the best way tohandle it was to built a giant wall around the worst area and seal it off, thus creating a ghetto called Brick Mansions, which is ruled by Tremaine Alexander (RZA) who controls drugs and firearms without much involvement from the police or anybody else. But when a bomb gets stolen, undercover cop Damien Collier (Paul Walker) teams up with convict Lino Dupree (David Belle) – whose (ex?-)girlfriend Lola (Catalina Denis) was kidnapped by Tremaine – to take him down and save the city.

Brick Mansions has some excellent action scenes that live off their parkour aesthetic. Unfortunately it also has one of the stupidest plot that ever existed and even worse dialogues.

brickmansions[SPOILERS]

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Lockout (2012)

Lockout
Director: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger
Writer: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger, Luc Besson
Cast: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Lennie James, Vincent Regan, Joseph Gilgun

Plot:
CIA agent Snow (Guy Pearce) is in deep shit. He’s (wrongly) accused of killing his partner and selling state secrets and quickly sentenced to 30 years in the new prison space station that is just about to be approved from the pilot project phase. But before he can actually be sent there, there is a prison riot – right during a visit of the president’s daughter Emilie (Maggie Grace) there. And so, Snow gets a chance to prove himself: if he saves Emilie, he can go free.

Lockout delivers pretty much exactly what you expect it to: crazy villains, explosions, tough guy talk and so much fun. Plus, there are so many gorgeous tattoos walking around in this film, it’s practically tattoo porn. The ending might be a teensiest bit tied up too neatly, but really, who cares about that?

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The Lady (2011)

The Lady
Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Rebecca Frayn
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis, Jonathan Raggett, Jonathan Woodhouse, Benedict Wong

Plot:
Aung San Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh) thought she had left Burma behind. She built herself a life in the UK with her husband Michael Aris (David Thewlis) and her two sons Kim (Jonathan Raggett) and Alexander (Jonathan Woodhouse). But then her mother falls ill and she returns to Burma to take care of her. And suddenly Suu’s past catches up with her and she finds herself in the middle of the political change towards democracy in the country.

Aung San Suu Kyi is definitely a fascinating woman and Michelle Yeoh delivers a wonderful performance, but this movie has very many issues that pretty much eclipse those two facts.

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Colombiana (2011)

Colombiana
Director: Olivier Megaton
Writer: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Cast: Zoe Saldana, Jordi Mollà, Lennie James, Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis, Callum Blue, Amandla Stenberg

Plot:
When Cataleya (Amanadla Stenberg) is a kid, her parents are murdered for trying to leave Don Luis’ (Beto Benites) drug cartel in Bogota. Cataleya manages to escape to the USA where she moves in with her uncle (Cliff Curtis). Her only wish is to take revenge, so she grows up to be an assassin. Her uncle arranges the hits, while Cataleya – now grown up (Zoe Saldana) – does the killing. But she uses these murders to draw attention to herself, in the hope to make Don Luis and his henchman Marco (Jordi Mollà) come to her that way.

Colombiana was a really bad film – and it didn’t even have the decency to be funny with it. Though there were moments.

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