Movie Review: “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”

The movie begins with an explanation of what the City of a Thousand Planets is. It began as a space station orbiting around Earth, but it became too large to stay, so it was sent into space. It continued to grow and its name was changed to Alpha. The scene shifts to an unknown planet that is accidentally destroyed during an unknown space battle. Some of the inhabitants escape by hiding in a damaged ship and learning how to fix it and make it fly.

Meanwhile, Major Valerian, an agent who works for Alpha, and his sidekick, Sergeant Laureline, embark on a mission to recover a mega-converter, a small creature from this planet and he has an interesting travel through time to recover it. It was being sold in a market to the inhabitants of the unknown planet who want it back, so they, in turn, follow the Major to Alpha. Alpha is so large that they could set up a colony inside, deemed to be a danger zone and off limits to all personnel. But inhabitants kidnap the Commander of the station so Major Valerian and Sergeant Laureline must find the Commander and bring him back alive.

This story is based on a comic book series and its actually quite complicated. It took me a day to figure it out because it’s told from the point of view of Major Valerian, not the inhabitants of the destroyed planet. The computer graphics were great with a wide array of space aliens and unusual creatures. However, I thought it wasn’t cast correctly. Major Valerian is a nine-year veteran of the force and the actor who played him, Dane DeHaan, looked to be too young. And there was too much emphasis on his relationship with Sergeant Laureline without enough history to know if they were really involved with each other.

I didn’t hate this movie, but I thought it could have been better. I enjoyed Rihanna’s role in the movie. She’s scene stealer.

 

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