Reviews have begun to drop for Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and while it’s early days yet, let’s just say they haven’t been charitable.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy was particularly tough on Besson’s latest effort, saying, ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets really is that bad, bad enough you don’t know for longest time that Valerian is one of the lead characters and not a planet or a spaceship.’
Steve Pond of The Wrap was slightly more charitable, saying ‘(Luc) Besson takes all that fun and color, along with a wild array of fantastic creatures, and deploys (them) in service of a big, dopey story that remains resolutely uninvolving and quite often annoying.’
Now, as I said earlier, it’s early days yet and a few mediocre reviews aren’t likely enough to torpedo Valerian’s chances at the domestic box office (after all, it’s taken five movies before many moviegoers in the United States noticed that the Transformers movies are really, really bad).
Though I get the feeling at that we’re not going to see Spider-Man: Homecoming-type box office when the movie goes into wide release.
Fantastic Four reviews have begun trickling in, and if they’re any indicator, the movie is in trouble.
Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter says that Fantastic Four “offers glimmers of good things to come in its final moments, but only after the audience has slogged through yet another dispiriting origin story and yet another Earth-rescuing battle in a bland, CG-created nowhere land…”
Alonso Duralde of The Wrap begins his review with, ” A sense of heaviness, gloom and complete disappointment settles in during the second half…”
And that’s the first line of Duralde’s review, so it’s pretty easy to see where he’s going from there.
That being said. you shouldn’t judge whether or not you see a movie based on what someone else thinks about it, though it’s worth taking into account when you’re deciding what movie to see this weekend.
I expect that the hard core comic geeks will turn out, but don’t be surprised if, like the Human Torch, Fantastic Four flares brightly, then quickly vanishes from the box office.