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Twenty years ago, French director Luc Besson (Nikita, Leon: The Professional) gave us The Fifth Element, which was actually a good sci-fi film not made in Hollywood. On July 21, 2017, he'll give us Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a theatrical adaptation of the popular French sci-fi comic book series Valérian and Laureline (which was one of the inspirations for The Fifth Element). The film stars Dane DeHaan (Andrew in Chronicle, Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Carla Delevingne (Enchantress in Suicide Squad), Clive Owen (Dwight in Sin City, Mr. Smith in Shoot 'Em Up), Rihanna (overrated pop singer who helped sink Battleship), Kris Wu (some Chinese singer, as these films must somehow appeal to the Chinese market), John Goodman (Hound in Transformers: Age of Extinction, Fred in The Flintstones), Ethan Hawke (Vincent/Jerome in Gattaca, Jesse in Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight), and Rutger Hauer (Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Cardinal Roark in Sin City).

Will it be as good as The Fifth Element, or will it be Jupiter Ascending bad? Only time will tell.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets @ IMDb

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On 06/05/2017 at 7:32 PM, Black Valkyrie said:




I just got my copy of Valerian The Complete Collection Volume 1, and these comparison pictures were also there. Nice big book, liked the color schemes of the comic. Unfortunately I'm not too inclined to get the other volumes as the exchange rates are awful for me at the moment. If I'm lucky the local book store might carry the rest.

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3 hours ago, spanner said:

going to see this on the weekend with the gf. I'm really hoping its not crap! The previews looked good! I really like Cara Delevingne! 

It's out in Oz already? For some reason I can't watch it till 10 August! :unsure:

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First learn about this movie last week in a trailer before Spider-Man started.   Had no idea of the properties long history.  My thought during the trailer was is this some teen actor movie for teens based on a young adult novel?   The 2 leads look so young.  

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I saw it today. Good visuals but I'm not satisfied with the flow of things. They should have started the movie to when Valerian met Laureline. Even though I had read the first few issues of the comics looking at it objectively it was not easy to follow. I would probably have been confused if I didn't know what Valerian was all about. The leads were OK, I liked Cara better though. As for Rihanna, hhmm, Chris Tucker was more entertaining.

Anyway, at certain times in the movie, I would think, yeah, The Fifth Element was better. Sorry Luc, better luck next time.

Edit: Yeah it's not great but is not Jupiter Ascending bad. With JA I was waiting for the movie to mercifully end and not waste any more of my time.

Edited by hachi
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I don't get out to too many movies these days but I saw it and here's my review:

It's not a great film but it's not bad either. The world building is awesome as are the visuals. Character design is amazing and there are some really unique and fun aliens and alien interactions.The interdimensional bits are fun and very creative. The environments are beautiful. There is a ham-fisted bit of narration at one point in order to describe the city. Like literally "Computer, tell me about the city" and then you get a couple minutes of a computer describing the sections of the city. It felt very forced for the viewer's sake. 

The plot is overly simple and there's no real twists as everything is pretty obviously telegraphed. Things that look like bad guys are bad guys. People who at first blush seem like bad guys are bad guys. Things that seem suspicious are definitely going to play into the trap and the trap is obviously a trap. Since it's so obvious where everything is going there's less drama to the large action sequences. 

I think the biggest sin though are the protagonists and I'm not sure if it was how they were written or acted. The male lead seems like he's supposed to be some sort of kick butt hero type but he just never SEEMED to be. He's a playboy? Really? I think for his character the problem is both casting and writing. The romance is never anything more than awkward and at the end makes no sense. The film honestly feels like it would have worked better with two competing super hero types rather than a simpy guy begging a girl to marry him (or maybe an Ash type doing the "you know you want to kiss me" routine). If the other characters played up Valerian being a super soldier more then they also could have played up Laureline's always taking a back seat to him as more of an issue. There are a few scenes that seem like they would have worked much better if the protagonists were reversed. The girl seems stilted for the most part rather than sassy. Bubble comes too far too fast. 

Now on to the nitpicks!


Toward the beginning of the first act, a character receives a telepathic dream. The external source from the dream is confirmed by the computer. No one seems to think this is a big deal or strange... like, does this happen all the time?
Valerian has a soul hanging out in his body... but it seemingly does nothing except give him a good gut feeling where to go a couple times. Some odd jealous comments are made by the girl since it's a girl's soul in his body. It feels like such a bigger deal than it plays out in the movie. The implementation of the soul system also felt half-baked. Do souls always occupy someone? What if there's no queen/mom/priestess to help remove the soul? 
I'm going to give Bubble's "you love this girl I never met" ranting a pass because she reads Valerian's mind for a split second and you can imagine that she somehow go to know the girl that way but it did come off as a little peculiar when she was giving romantic advice.

Edited by jenius
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OK, so I read Ambassador of the Shadows, where most of the movie's inspiration came from.



Laureline definitely had more interesting adventures than Valerian did. Good thing I had enough willpower to NOT read Ambassador of the Shadows before I saw the movie. Those scenes with Rihanna were definitely a waste. In the comic it was Laureline who did the infiltration mission not Valerian. I would have been pissed. Some parts of the story were modified for the better, but there were still some wasted scenes.

Maybe Luc was 'stretched' too thin getting this movie made? He could have done the first 2 Valerian stories and since they didn't involve aliens the budget could have been lower. I also do wonder maybe he didn't think he could make another movie so he just poured everything into this one with all the aliens and special effects. OK I'll be off to Reddit to see what the long-time fans think.

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