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Movie Review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Updated on July 24, 2017
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Valerian and Laureline
Valerian and Laureline

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Based on the comics Valèrian and Laureline, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is more than a Sci-fi, action film. It is an experience into outer space and the world of comics. From its well-constructed universe, to its vast amount of alien species, this movie delivers the adventure of a lifetime. Director and writer for Valerian is Luc Besson (famous for his films such as Lucy and The Fifth Element). And it's two leads are Suicide Squad's Cara Delevigne who plays Laureline and A Cure For Wellness' Dane DeHaan who plays Valerian. Valerian and Laureline are high ranking space-and-time agents who work for the federal government.


The story is set in the 28th century on a space station called Alpha. It is home to thousand of alien species. And is also the first contact for humanity with other alien species. However, over time the station becomes too crowded and the it has to be pushed out of the Earth's orbit. On it's voyage into outer space the station continues to pick up travelers increasing in size and eventually becoming an outer space metropolis. While it can be hard to introduce a new world of science fiction to audiences, the film handles the introduction of its universe very well and gives all the information you need to understand the simplest relations between humans and the other species.

The movie plays out more as an action film than a Sci-fi film. We're not in board rooms or space ships, most of the time we are following agents Valerian and Laureline as they take on missions in space. With the help of their crew, they are able to accomplish their objectives (albeit with a few bumps in the road). Although long, the plot definitely has direction as everything unfolds as a result of something else. This allows the movie to keep up its pace, while keeping its drama and action intact.

The alien humanoid race featured in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
The alien humanoid race featured in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

The World of Valerian

The world of Valerian is beautiful and unforgettable. The film's CGI is breathtaking and detailed. Each species of alien is unique. I mean, how can you beat having a pet that s@&# out diamonds after consuming jewelry? Simply, you can't. The other species the film includes all have their own delicacies, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Ships are immaculate and space travel is the main focus along with the social sciences that come along with interspecies mingling and cohabitation. And the special effects compliment the Sci-Fi elements very well and play out the imagination that such technology will usually require.

Valerian (Dane Dehaan) and Cara Delevigne (Laureline).
Valerian (Dane Dehaan) and Cara Delevigne (Laureline).


The action sequences in this film vary from cartoony to serious and the contrast between the two keeps it fresh. Valerian and Laureline are especially skilled in combat and can take on even the toughest of foes. But, there are times when they are outmatched and seeing them comically get out of hellish situations gives the movie its charm. The film's most comedic moments come not only from its action scenes, but its brutal kills as well.

Valerian and Laureline

To conclude, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a must-see for Sci-fi buffs. But, you must have patience since the movie does have its slow parts. Its inevitable since there are moments where tension needs to be built and information has to be said. The film is long and if you're not prepared to involve yourself, then it could feel like a drag. Valerian's leads Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevigne have great chemistry and Cara's acting is especially good. Don't be intimidated by the title. The science is easy to understand and overall a great action film.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is currently in theaters.


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    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 6 months ago from Louisiana, USA

      I have read a few reviews for this film. I am excited to see it. Luc Besson is a very visual director and two of my favorite films are Fifth Element and The Professional. Thank you for the review. It makes even more inclined to go see this film soon.

    • Violets3 profile image

      Violet 6 months ago from California

      Its funny reading different reviews. Some love it, some hate it.

      but i know im going to enjoy this film. Im a scifi