Look out for 'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets'

Written by: Don Cabuhat

Film | Apr 4, 2017

Cara Delevingne Dane DeHaan Laureline Luc Beeson Valerian

The new Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets trailer just dropped and I am excited.

is an adaptation of the popular French comic Valerian and Laureline. The movie's plot is as follows:

In the 28th century, Valerian and Laureline are special operatives charged with keeping order throughout the human territories. On assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two undertake a mission to Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis where species from across the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence, and cultures. At the center of Alpha is a mysterious dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

Dane Dehaan stars as the titular character, Valerian, and is joined by his partner Laureline, played by Cara Delevingne.

The footage in the trailer looks promising. The settings we've seen so far are vibrant and the scope feels epic. The visuals are gorgeous, having what looks like a good mix of grounded realism (well, as grounded as things can be for a sci-fi) and awesome fantastical elements. The aliens (save for a few) look great. The Alpha metropolis is magnificent and its scale is impressive. It certainly looks like a "city of a thousand planets". If nothing else, it seems like the film will be a visual spectacle.

Dane and Cara look like they have great chemistry together (likely because they seem to have that same resting bitch face going on). I've always thought that Dane was a charming actor. Barring that horrible Green Goblin performance, he has always delivered solid performances in films like Chronicle and Kill Your Darlings, so I have no doubt he can handle the lead in a big sci-fi film like this.

Cara on the other hand, looks like she finally found a role she enjoys doing. Between the god awful hip swinging Enchantress and her annoying character in that YA movie, Paper Towns (she was actually pretty good in the film, considering what she had to work with), I've always thought that given the right script and director, she has more to offer than anything we've previously seen. It certainly doesn't hurt that it looks like she's relating more to this character. Plus, she's actually smiling a lot and isn't moping or angry all of the time.

Luc Besson directs Valerian. Now, while I admit I'm not a huge fan of his work, you can't argue that the man has a certain visual style. This time, it looks like he's drawing from his Fifth Element roots (which is arguably his best film) in this high concept science fiction film. But beyond everything else, it's the guy's enthusiasm about the material that has set my expectations a bit higher than usual for a movie like this.

All in all, it's good to see a film that looks like it's embracing the source material and going all out on its "sci-fi-ness". There's a huge gaping hole for a good new fantasy sci-fi film these days, and Valerian might just be the one to fill up that void. God knows we don't want another Jupiter Ascending.

Valerian hits Philippine cinemas on July 17, 2017.

About the author: Don Cabuhat

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