Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Review

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Rutger Hauer, Sam Spruell.

Director: Luc Besson

Release date: 2nd August 2017


It is the 28th Century and we meet Major Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and his partner, Sergeant Laureline (Cara Delevingne). They are a pair of Federal Police agents who amongst other things, recover stolen property. The pair are tasked with going to a planet called Kyrian to recover some property. Valerian is doing the bulk of the work and uses tech to hide himself while making his way through a place called, ‘Big Market’. It’s somewhere that can only be seen when wearing a special helmet and glasses. He gets to the place where the hand over is happening but things go dramatically wrong and a chase ensues. Fortunately they recover the stolen goods and escape by the skin of their teeth. Valerian recognises the stuff they’ve got from a bizarre and very vivid dream he had. They head to Alpha Intergalactic Space Station, a place off Earth that has become the ‘City Of A Thousand Planets’ because of the many many different alien inhabitants that live there.. all 30 million of them. There is a mysterious Radioactive Zone that is growing at the heart of the Station and so far anyone that’s gone in to investigate hasn’t returned. They predict that with its rate of growth, it will swallow the whole station in a week. Valerian and Laureline are sent in to investigate. What will they find, and can they save Alpha and its millions of inhabitants in time? How does Valerian’s weird dream factor into all of this?

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The newest offering from the great Luc Besson, there are definitely hints of his past works throughout this movie. It has his stamp all over it and you’d know it was his work if you hadn’t heard who the Director was. The movie is based on a French comic book called ‘Valerian and Laureline’ which first appeared in 1967 and ran right up until 2010. It’s thought that there are hints of the comic book also in Luc Besson’s cult 1997 movie, The Fifth Element. He was also a bit inspired by the movie, Avatar in which he saw what movie technology could actually do and be used to create.

‘Valerian…’ is visually stunning, and unlike anything you will have ever seen before. The CGI is *amazing* and in places makes up for a bit of a crazy plotline. It took around a third of the movie to grasp a basic plot and know what’s actually happening, but the visual effects totally made up for any short comings.

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Before seeing the movie, I was really hoping that they hadn’t stuck all the best bits into the trailer, as some films unfortunately seem to do. The trailer looked astounding and I had everything crossed that there would be a lot more surprises in store. The Alpha Station itself is a 3D lover’s dream… Sweeping scenes and amazing views of this expansive and over populated area, it’s bizarre and vivid at the same time.

All in all, I really enjoyed ‘Valerian…’ and would definitely recommend a watch. Purely for the CGI alone, you have to see this movie. It’s one that I believe people will be talking about for years to come and will possibly be a benchmark for similar future movies. I shall definitely be going to see it again!


Overall: 8.5/10





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