In the far future, hundreds of years from now, humans and almost all universal creatures are living in sync in space with the help of a mass advancement in technology. There is a government force in attendance to keep human territories in order. Major Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and his partner, who is also his girlfriend, Sergeant Lauraline (Cara Delevingne), are the best agents for the latest assignment to track down potential criminals in the city of Alpha. Along the way, the agents are placed against their toughest battles including a confrontation between a member of their own force.
Valerian was a great sci-fi fantasy film! The movie began with the backstory of how the United States space station developed alliances with other countries. As time progressed, so did the technology and communication with aliens from other planets and galaxies. The U.S. space station made it acceptable to collaborate and work in harmony with the many different people and creatures to create a community. This was one of the better backstories I have seen in a movie simply because they got straight to the point of how the world came to be.
I appreciated the backstory of the human-like aliens that was provided but as it transitioned into the current time the story was taking place, I almost lost interest. The way they introduced Valerian and Laureline was almost annoying considering their first scenes were intimate. I honestly did not care for their love story, at least not upfront. I expected to see them in a more serious role in their opening scene and maybe lead up to their romance. I feel like their romance in general was taken into context a little too much which became distracting to the main plot.
As I continued watching, the fight and exploring scenes kept me on edge. Obviously the underdogs, Valerian and Laureline, would be victorious each time but it was still relieving to see them come out on top. To be completely honest, I was more excited to see what Rihanna’s role had in store. I was disappointed but not surprised to see her limited amount of time on the screen. Although, her character was pretty important for a slight period of time during their mission.
I enjoyed the overall movie, however, there were moments when I felt it were dragging. There were a few scenes that did not need the necessary length of time they were given on screen. For example, there is a scene where Valerian is chasing the humanoid spaceship and at one point I felt as if they were both headed nowhere. The scene was just a bunch of talk being communicated from Valerian’s shuttle back to headquarters. As he was chasing the spaceship, he had to get through many obstacles which made the scene more tolerable but in its entirety, the length of the scene was pretty unnecessary.
The graphics and CGI in Valerian were perfect. As I was watching, everything popped out at me and looked so real. My favorite place of scenery was the island that the humanoids lived on. The beach and sky displayed their harmonious life in an aesthetic form. At the end of the movie, there was a forcefield being used as a gateway to the reinvented island and it looked just as cool. The various colors used to create the forcefield was great.
The costume designers did a wonderful job with bringing the aliens to life. Alpha had many different creatures and their distinct looks were so creative. Even the humans in the society looked as if they had just stepped out of the Hunger Games. Everyone and everything had a distinguished look to fit their group. The space suits and government uniforms even had a uniqueness to them.
The film left on a cliffhanger so I would expect a sequel in the near future. This may also give Rihanna the opportunity to suddenly reappear with a longer speaking role. I can also hypothesis that there will also be another major war considering the evil government official was arrested instead of killed and could possibly escape.
I definitely recommend this to those interested in sci-fi, adventure, and fantasy. I began to compare Valerian to the Percy Jackson films. They are both full of adventure with the plot being an ethical ploy to “save the world” and they suit an audience of young and/or an older crowd. There was limited to no vulgar language and gore was almost nonexistent. The sex appeal was in the very beginning of the movie and the very last scene so it was not too inappropriate.
4K HDR Review (by Nathan Stevens)
This movie was built and born for 4K HDR. It’s so vivid in color scheme and deep with its in-betweens of the bright/dark parts of the film. Luc Besson did a superb job of making sure there was so much visual variety to the universe and all of that translated well in HDR. I’m not sure I’ve seen a better transfer from film to HDR than with Valerian. I know a lot of people didn’t care too much for it, but if you stay for the visuals in this format, then the trip is worth the price. Personally, I agree with Alexus’ review and highly recommend the film. It does a great job of presenting a visually stunning and vivid adventure, while also telling a simple story that does indeed connect at the end where it begins.