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Bad Movie Drinking Game - Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

A drinking game guaranteed to get you trashed.

By Natalie McCPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevigne star in the movie.

The 2017 action/sci-fi/romance/banter comedy Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is one of the most insane movies I've ever seen. It's one of those movies that's so all over the place, so over-the-top, that it makes you feel drunk even if you haven't had a drop of alcohol. But it's enhanced by actually having alcohol. As usual, if you sincerely love this movie, or any of the movies I will ever describe as "bad," please know that badness is not an objective trait or even a negative quality. All movies can bring joy and are art, and there's a special place in my heart for this one. It was one of the first my boyfriend and I watched as a drinking game, and along with the Percy Jackson movies, it proved the concept a complete success.

The stock list of rules we apply to every movie can be found here. Along with these rules, we had a few rules taken from other websites. We've since gotten better at coming up with our own rules, but at this point we hadn't mastered that art. Here are our rules, including the relevant ones from the stock list. Drink every time you feel/observe:

1. Someone says "Valerian"

Caution: this will get you wasted. It's normal for the protagonist's name to be said often. But the characters in the movie never. stop. saying. "Valerian." It's impossible to know why writer/director Luc Besson made this choice, but here it is, for the drinking viewer's benefit.

2. Obvious Star Wars rip-off

This might be a little mean, but I think it's fair. Valerian, played by Dane DeHaan, is clearly intended to be a Han Solo-type who has witty banter and sizzling romantic tension with leading lady Laureline, played by Cara Delevigne. They get into laser gun battles, encounter a variety of alien species on foreign planets and industrial space ships, and unravel political intrigue. These aren't things that Star Wars came up with, but the connection between the classic series and Valerian is clear. And, in my opinion, Valerian can't compare. The romance at the centre of the movie comes off more like sexual harassment than actual attraction. The aliens are terrible CGI monsters. The political/spy intrigue, and the plot in general, moves so so fast and nonsensically that once it's over, it's hard to know what actually happened.

3. The Lone Pearl is shown

I promise this isn't a spoiler. The movie has a MacGuffin called "the Lone Pearl" that is shown again and again in overly dramatic shots. Think of the One Ring from Lord of the Rings, but if Frodo kept showing it to every character every few minutes.

4. Someone says "No, it's too dangerous!"

It doesn't have to be this exact wording, leave yourself open for some variety. But this idea is said a shocking number of times. I think that director Besson tried to convey that Valerian and Laureline were bold, daring, capable heroes who always know what's best and go against the grain. After the fourth time someone says it, it's just funny.

5. A pop song is played

This movie has plenty of classic pop songs. It feels completely out of place in a movie that takes place seven hundred years in the future. As stated in my stock list of rules, filmmakers often overuse pop songs that they know the audience already likes in order to create positive associations with the movie, and to inject it with tone/emotions/momentum that the movie otherwise fails to accomplish.

6. Bad CGI

Visually, this movie is insane. There seems to be an unlimited supply of new CGI alien monsters. Some of them got the time and attention they needed to look real, some did not. Some action sequences look great, others have people and objects flying through the air like poorly made CGI rag dolls.

Does the face in the image below kinda creep you out with its uncanny valley-ness? Get used to it.

The lead alien princess

7. (Spoiler alert) Finish your drink during the Rihanna burlesque show/music video.

Sometimes, when watching a bad movie, you have to pause, rest your head in your hands, and say, "what the fuck did I just watch?" This was one of those moments. Rihanna is lovely as always, but the scene comes out of absolutely nowhere, accomplishes nothing, and comes off as transparent pandering for entertainment value and goodwill. The filmmakers must have thought, "okay, we got Rihanna to sign on to this. What do we do with her? She can't just act, she has to sing and dance!" On top of that, Rihanna barely appears in the remainder of the movie after this introduction. Instead, she just provides voiceover for a sentient bubble, which is a baffling choice. Rihanna isn't in movies because of her raw acting talent, she's in movies because of her charisma, beauty, and star power. Hiring her essentially as a voice actor is a hilarious choice.

Valerian has essentially faded into obscurity, but I think that's a shame. It should be a cult classic, go-to bad movie. It's a chaotic, high budget, over-bloated mess. And I love it.


About the Creator

Natalie McC

Writer/editor/third thinger

My dream is to write something that will rival my one Google review that somehow got 10k views.

I'm on Letterboxd

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