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There was decent interest and even critical acclaim for this movie, so I started watching it with high hopes, but also an open mind - I'm more than happy to discover quirky, provocative, dark, and absurd films, if they are done well.
Cloud Atlas was not done well.
There was an obviously large budget for this film, but I don't know what gave the studio confidence to invest so much; it can't have been the screenplay - that sucked; it can't have been the humour that ran through it - there was not one drop of it.
The costuming was very good, but the make-up was pathetic. It was horrible, with a portion of the timeline including white actors with eye make-up to Asian. Blackface has become a regrettable racist phase of our filmmaking, but cloud atlas seems quit happy to state that a white guy with putty smeared on his face so he looks slanty, can pass for a generic Chinese appearance.
There were so many inconsistencies and plot-holes that I ended up just being jaded by the film and mainly remember it as something I will never see again. You couldn't pay me to watch it.
The actors (all of whom I generally drawn to) must have owed the producer a favour to have been roped into this mess of CGI and bad direction.
Valerian was a movie that looked interesting, with decent effects, a solid cast, a setting with great potential, and a director who has done some amazing things previously.
It did not deliver.
Valerian is almost a patchwork quilt, made from the worst aspects of other sci-fi flops from the last 20 years. The stupidness of Phantom Menace, the teen angst and bad acting of Twilight, the lack of scientific and plot continuity of Hot Tub Time Machine.
It meandered stumblingly between half an interesting concept, to the next half interesting concept, with no comment or reflection for what they'd just done, and no real consequence for lives lost or communities supposedly at risk along the way.
Weak writing and no singular vision of the story, makes this a terrible big-budget film.