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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review
When I first saw the trailer for Valerian, the first thing I thought was: "I have got to see that in 3D." For anyone that knows me, that's a major achievement for a trailer to make considering I usually detest 3D films. There's only a handful that I can think of where the 3D truly paid off: Doctor Strange, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2, and now Valerian.
The film won my heart instantly with its opening scene, showing us mankind's technological advances past, present, and future while David Bowie's Space Oddity played in the background. We are then transported to a stunningly gorgeous planet full of kind and gentle people going on about their every day lives. Suddenly, all that changes with a majorly destructive event. Across the universe, Valerian and Laureline are approaching their mission and at the moment they aren't exactly getting along. This is an element of the film I actually liked. Laureline stood up to Valerian and every other man for that matter and really held her own throughout. She wasn't one of those girls that do whatever the man says for no other reason than they're men. Laureline didn't let herself be subjected to the stereotype and I respected that. Anyway, after their mission is complete, they return to Alpha, the City of a Thousand Planets, so named because a thousand different species pulled together to create one giant city in space where they share everything from banking to technology. Valerian and Laureline are assigned to protect the Commander, only to be faced with a new threat that sends them on one collision course after another.
As the film goes on, there are slight hints here and there of who the "big bad" of the film really is. It's not exactly a surprising reveal but it makes sense. It's a true progression of story and not some slap in the face that defies all logic.
More than anything, I loved the visuals in this film. It's amazing to think that all of that was envisioned 50 years ago in the minds of Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres. Only Luc Besson could have harnessed their vision and put it on the big screen for all of us to enjoy.
The acting was solid as well. I'm not the biggest Dane DeHaan fan but he impressed me with his take on Major Valerian. Cara Delevingne was the one that stole the show as Sergeant Laureline, however, kicking ass both figuratively and literally.
In conclusion, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets exceeded my expectations and made me hope for future installments in what promises to be a remarkable franchise should it become one. I give it a 4 out of 4.
© 2017 Alec Zander