Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets: A Wild Ride Appropriate for Most Ages

Movie Review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
Version: Library borrow

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a wild ride. The vast number of alien species represented in this amazing science fiction film is just ... wow! I doubt film makers reach a thousand, but the creativity in this film just boggles the imagination, so you quickly lose count.

The story line takes place in the 28th century and involves humanity's outreach to the abundance of alien species at our doorstep, welcoming them to space station Alpha as it makes its way outward from the Solar System. But everything isn't peace and happiness, as interaction between humans and aliens sometimes involves conflict. And in one instance, an innocent race of peaceful aliens is sacrificed to save the human mission.

Major Valerian (played by Dane DeHaan) and his partner Sergeant Laureline (played by Cara Delevingne) are sent on a dangerous mission to retrieve the last member of a species of gem converters from a devastated planet. When they return successfully, they must save their commander (played by Clive Owen), who has been abducted on Alpha in a suspiciously infected area. What they discover hiding in the infected area changes everyone's understanding of one of Alpha's past missions and its future relations with the thousands of species it has encountered to date. Getting from beginning to end of this tale is an incredible journey!

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a majestic panoramic view of humankind's future in space while making a metaphoric statement about advanced civilizations' cruel treatment of those who are far less advanced. It uses sweeping vistas, imposing set designs, and daunting visual effects to take viewers on a fantastic trip through time and space, introducing us to amazing species and colorful (literal and figurative) characters. You won't leave watching this film unimpressed.

This film also doesn't take itself especially serious. There is plenty of humor in the story to lighten the atmosphere.

As a fan of science fiction and fantasy, I highly recommend Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets for teens and older audiences. Younger audiences may also appreciate it with adult supervision.

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