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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets ( or VCTP for short ), is based on the popular graphic novel that director Luc Besson grew up with. It follows the various adventures and travels of agents Valerian and Laureline, and according to my knowledge, the film is mostly accurate to what’s put down in the book.
To be honest with you, I wasn’t expecting a lot from this film when I saw the first trailer mainly because right off the bat you can tell there’s a lot CGI, and in the past, this alone has riddled some films. However, VCTP had phenomenal CGI which ended up becoming the centerpiece of the entire experience. Furthermore, I enjoyed all of the mystery, twists and turns in the plotline that helped me stay interested.
VCTP’s visuals are some of the best I’ve seen in a while. There was a scene where Valerian is racing through various sections of Alpha, and you get to see all of these different alien habitats in one take, and it was just incredible to witness. There was also so many different types of aliens that were beautifully designed. With each of the alien’s physical features, I could guess what their primary purpose and their strengths or weaknesses. Luc Besson is known for great visuals with previous films like Lucy and The Fifth Element, and let me tell ya, he sells in that category here. See this movie for the visuals.
Valerian and Laureline are two interesting characters. Valerian, played by Dane DeHaan, is sort of a playboy, which was unordinary to see, because Dane is known for his villainous roles in The Amazing Spiderman, and Chronicle. However, I think it fits quite nicely for him, despite the fact that he shamelessly fawns over the chance to win over Laureline’s heart. Speaking of Laureline, I think I liked her more than Valerian. This wouldn’t be a surprise as Luc Besson has a history of putting kick-a** women on the big screen. However, I wish both Laureline and Valerian had a few more layers added to their character, like Rihanna’s character Bubble, did. Bubble, while short-lived had one of the most compelling stories to tell, which shocked a couple of my colleagues and me.
As the credits rolled, I did want more. I left the theater wondering where a VCTP sequel would take Laureline and Valerian because the worlds were captivating along with the various characters/aliens. We get to see both sides of the story in VCTP, and I thought that was well thought out. Additionally, the mystery that’s underlying through the entire movie is what kept my eyes glued to the screen; it was along the lines of a murder mystery, and for me those never get old.
All in all Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a very enjoyable film to watch, and I would recommend it for this Summer, as it’s one of the better sci-fi movies this season. I would say parental guidance is required for anyone older than 13, as there are some mature scenes involving Ms. Rihanna during the film. So, there you have it guys, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets lands in theaters July 21st, so don’t miss it!
Until Next Time.