Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Director: Luc Besson
Distributor: Belga Home Video
Duration: 131 minutes

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (DVD) – Movie Review

Site Score
8.7
Good: Story, Characters, Design, Witty
Bad: Not exactly what thrill-seekers will expect
User Score
8.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Valerian garnered a lot of attention the past year, mainly by spamming the trailer of the movie in the theatres, hoping a big crow would turn up. When we dug deeper and saw Luc Besson was directing this movie, we were expecting a lot, from the man who directed The Fifth Element, which is seen as a cult hit in the Sci-Fi genre. Valerian stepped up to the plate, took a few swings and in our books, it hit the ball out of the park. Fans of the Sci-Fi genre should welcome this title in their library, and we hope we can properly explain why.

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While the movie starts off with introducing the two main characters, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), who have to retrieve a one of its kind convertor for the Alpha space station, it will eventually all revolve around a ‘dead zone’ forming in the Alpha station, which has something to do with said convertor and mystery pearls. It all takes place after Valerian gets a vision of a strange world, which is not documented, but was destroyed nonetheless. It soon becomes clear that the federation knows of this planet, or at least the current commander of Alpha station Arun Filitt (Clive Owen), who wants to keep the eradication of this world and its species a secret. Before long the commander is abducted by the aliens who were presumed extinct, and taken into the so-called radiated dead zone.

Valerian follows the hostile forces, who only used non-lethal weapons, but crashes his small ship into one of the lesser known zones of the station. Laureline decides to follow her leading officer, Valerian, but is first stopped by the outranking officer general Okto-Bar (Sam Spruell), who doesn’t want to lose both great agents in one day. Nonetheless, Laureline escapes and makes haste for her trusted partner, who clearly means a lot to her. From here on out it’s one big trip through the station, encountering one strange race at a time, while aiming to find the center of the dead zone where the once peaceful race from Valerian’s vision find themselves.

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The flow of this movie doesn’t follow a conventional formula, where there’s a certain buildup, a middle portion and then a somewhat expected ending. No, this movie has its own unique pattern, where there’s always something going on, not necessarily tied with the main plot of the movie, making sure there’s enough to see, more than enough to enjoy and a lot of excitement to go around. While the movie’s red thread is about the ‘dead zone’ developing in the Alpha station, Valerian and Laureline have to wade through many other obstacles to finally reach their goal, namely said zone, to see what’s actually going on. Overall the movie is created in a very interesting fashion, making sure you’re never bored as there is simply no segment in this Sci-Fi flick where there’s nothing going on.

Most of the movie revolves around the performance of Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, who play Valerian and Laureline respectively. Both characters have a certain chemistry going on, which elevates the movie. Other than that, there’s Clive Owen, who is clearly the bad guy of this movie, who does a superb job in filling that role. Other cast members include Rihanna, Ethan Hawke and so on, who also fill in their roles in a proper and interesting fashion.

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The 2-disc DVD edition of Valerian comes with several hours of extra content that will show you the ins and outs of how this movie was made, ranging from the transition of a comic book series to a movie, how the cast was chosen, how the cast interacted, how special effects were done. Other than that, certain scenes get highlighted, interviews were done, and some extra fun snippets were added to the otherwise plentiful and bountiful special features that come with this physical edition.

Conclusion

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a new Fifth Element in the making. While we realize this statement might sound like blasphemy for some fans of Luc Besson’s original piece with Bruce Willis in the lead, we mean every word of it. Valerian is one of those movies that impresses with its visual prowess, its interesting, yet lighthearted storyline, and above all, its very likeable characters. Fans of the Sci-Fi genre should certainly give this movie a chance, as we’re sure they’ll love it wholeheartedly.

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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (DVD) - Movie Review, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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