By A. Nogueira
Title: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Release date: August 10th 2017
Director: Luc Besson
Main cast: Cara Delevigne, Dane DeHaan, Rihanna, Clive Owen and Ethan Hawke
Budget: 177 - 800 million USD
Box office: 172.8 million USD
Rotten tomatoes rating: 51%
Google film synopsis: In the 28th century, special operatives Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline work together to maintain order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the minister of defense, the duo embarks on a mission to Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis where diverse species gather to share knowledge and culture. When a dark force threatens the peaceful city, Valerian and Laureline must race against time to identify the menace that also jeopardizes the future of the universe.
Valerian is the most expensive European and independent film ever made, based on the French comics by Pierre Christin. Although its great budget allowed astounding visuals ranging from color schemes to CGI, it was missing basic plot points. The ending, in particular, was dissatisfying and lacked in screen time and impact.
Initially, the movie impresses with sci-fi concepts that deviate from most clichés, such as the great market. The opening scene is also one of the greatest highlights, stunning due to its otherworldly setting and emotionally gripping. Moreover, the sequence features the song Space Oddity by David Bowie, which was an ideal choice. Valerian and Laureline's relationship is soon introduced, captivating viewers as it foreshadows a romance.
However, as the movie progresses it loses most of its point and appeal. The relationship of the protagonists has obvious lack chemistry, a likely result of unexceptional acting; and sci-fi concepts begin to lack purpose aside from being grandiose. It is clear that the movie was too ambitious, attempting the same primary concepts of Avatar but with an extremely inferior execution.