Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets Is A Visually Rich Movie With Mediocre Story And Weak Leads

valerian and the city of a thousand planets

Movie title: Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets

Movie description: The story is set in the 28th century. The space station Alpha is a city and home to species from a thousand planets. Here they live together exchanging their knowledge and culture. But a dark force threatens Alpha so special operatives Valerian and Laureline must identify the menace and save not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

3.0

Summary

Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets is a beautiful, visually rich and interesting movie. There are so many locations, species, details and ideas in Valerian that you could fill 10 other movies. Valerian is worth watching just because of its visual aspect alone. So it’s a shame story, characters and actors are not on the same level.

Director: Luc Besson

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke

Genre: Action, SF, Fantasy

Year: 2017

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Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets is based on the long-running French science fiction comics series called Valérian and Laureline which is written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières and first published in 1967. While watching this movie you may get a feeling like they ripped off a lot of SF and fantasy movies in the last 30 years but the truth is actually that a lot of those movies, like Star Wars and Besson’s The Fifth Element, were inspired by Valerian and Laureline comics.

The story is set in the 28th century. The space station Alpha is a city and home to species from a thousand planets. Here they live together exchanging their knowledge and culture. But a dark force threatens Alpha so special operatives Valerian and Laureline must identify the menace and save not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

I didn’t expect much from the latest movie from Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element, Nikita, Arthur et les Minimoys). Although Besson is known for his distinctive style and has some good movies in his resume (mostly in the 90ties), his latest movies as a director and producer were just so-so or bad. In last 15 years, he produced a string of forgettable action movies and the last movie he directed was an awful Lucy with Scarlett Johansson. But in the end, Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets turned out better than expected.

Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets is a beautiful, visually rich and interesting movie. There are so many locations, species, details, and ideas in Valerian that you could fill 10 other movies. Valerian is worth watching just because of its visual aspect alone. So it’s a shame story, characters and actors are not on the same level.

Actually, the main problems of Valerian are a mediocre story and script and weak leads. I don’t know what Besson was thinking but DeHaan and Cara Delevingne are so uncharismatic and poor actors. Additionally, they look like they are fifteen and we’re supposed to believe they are top notch and experienced agents. DeHaan’s character was supposed to be a likable, charismatic and dangerous agent (like a James Bond in space) but I don’t remember when the main hero was this bland.

It’s a shame because if they put little more effort in the script and hired some decent actors this would be a very good movie. Nevertheless, it’s a fun and interesting SF action movie with great visuals.

You can purchase a Blu-ray, 4K or DVD from Amazon or you can watch Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets on Amazon Video if you’re interested.

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