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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

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A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

Director:

Luc Besson

Writers:

Pierre Christin (based on the comic book series "Valerian and Laureline" by), Jean-Claude Mézières (based on the comic book series "Valerian and Laureline" by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
614 ( 32)

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Immerse yourself in the world of Valerian with our guided photo gallery and the eye-popping "Director's Trademarks: A Guide to the Films of Luc Besson" original video.

10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dane DeHaan ... Major Valerian
Cara Delevingne ... Sergeant Laureline
Clive Owen ... Commander Arun Filitt
Rihanna ... Bubble
Ethan Hawke ... Jolly the Pimp
Herbie Hancock ... Defence Minister
Kris Wu ... Sergeant Neza
Sam Spruell ... General Okto-Bar
Alain Chabat ... Bob the Pirate
Rutger Hauer ... President of the World State Federation
Peter Hudson ... Captain Crowford
Xavier Giannoli ... Captain Norton
Louis Leterrier ... Captain Welcoming Mercurys
Eric Rochant ... Captain Welcoming Palm Müret
Benoît Jacquot ... Captain Welcoming Arysum (as Benoit Jacquot)
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Storyline

In the Century XXVIII, the space station Alpha is a city where beings from different planets live together exchanging their knowledge and culture. Peace is granted by a human force, including Major Valerian and his partner Sergeant Laureline. They are assigned by the Defence Minister to retrieve the last species of converter in a dangerous mission. They succeed and back to Alpha, unknown humanoids abduct Commander Arun Filitt expecting to steal the converter. They head to a forbidden area that is infected but Valerian and Laureline follow them and disclose a hidden secret about the race and the infected area. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the visionary director of The Fifth Element and Lucy See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action, suggestive material and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Facebook | Instagram | See more »

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

21 July 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$177,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,007,624, 23 July 2017, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$41,189,488

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$225,874,228
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS (DTS: X)| Dolby Surround 7.1 | Dolby Atmos | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main storyline is loosely based on "Ambassador of the Shadows," the sixth album in the comic book series. This was also the first Valerian story to be translated in English. See more »

Goofs

When Valerian gets the 'Update' when they arrive at Alpha, Alex says that since leaving Earth the station has traveled almost 700 million miles (7.5AU), which, if true, would mean that in 400+ years they hadn't even reached the orbit of Saturn yet (which is 9.5AU from the sun), something that probes can do in under 10 years. A good example is Voyager 1, which in 40 years has traveled over 12 BILLION miles from Earth and is now in interstellar space. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
President of the World State Federation: [broadcast appearance] The Alpha intergalactic space station has reached critical mass in orbit. Its weight and size now poses a serious threat to mother Earth. In its great wisdom, the Central Committee has decided to use all resources necessary to release the space station from Earth's gravity. Its new course is set with the Magellan Current. Like the great explorer Magellan, the Alpha station will journey into the unknown. The symbol of our values and knowledge, it will carry a ...
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Crazy Credits

The subtitle of this film, (City of a Thousand Planets,) is an amalgam of the titles of the first two Valerian comics, "City of Shifting Waters," and "Empire of a Thousand Planets." See more »

Connections

References Cabaret (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Bubble Dance
(Julien Rey)
Performed by Julien Rey
Vocals by Clemence Gabrielidis
Choir Vocals by MUSYCA Children's Choir, Anna Krendel
Produced by DJ Mustard
Recording Sessions Conducted by DJ Mustard
Keyboards by DJ Mustard and Larrance Dopson (as Larrance Dopson)
Mixed by Jérôme Devoise at D.E.S Studio
(p) 2017 Valerian S.A.S.
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User Reviews

 
Both Too Good and Too Bad to Recommend Strongly
24 July 2017 | by bkrauser-81-311064See all my reviews

I'm not going to lie, I was looking forward to Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The production team behind it, in combination with the history of the IP (not to mention the absolutely bonkers trailer) made it seem like Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) level intensity was the best case scenario. Worst case scenario, we were looking at a Jupiter Ascending (2015) a la, a movie with enough sheer lunacy to justify a watch despite being seriously flawed.

So it's to my surprise and partially to my chagrin that Valerian is neither of these things - not really. It is a painfully sincere movie that is positively aglow with its own ingenuity, like a toddler is with his own finger painting. And believe it or not, that kind of innocent hubris does save Valerian from quite of few scrapes and contrivances here and there. Yet when the day is done, there's no denying director Luc Besson's newest sci-fi space adventure is simultaneously too sloppy and too well made to enjoy.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based on a series of French science fiction comics which chronicle the adventures of Valerian (DeHaan) a roguish space cop and his damsel-esque partner Laureline (Delevingne). After their latest mission inadvertently puts them in possession of the film's magical sci-fi maguffin, they make their way to the fabled space city of Alpha. Once they get there however, all hell breaks loose and our heroes find themselves scrabbling to rescue their superior, Commander Filitt (Owen) from an unknown group of aliens.

The highs of this movie are near euphoric with some of the most creative and convincing examples of world-building seen this side of blockbuster cinema. The technology, the habitats the creature design et al. are all so refreshingly fun with the city of Alpha being the clear standout of all the marvelous filigree. Alpha at times feels like an ever shifting character in the film, assimilating worthwhile ideas from Star Trek (1966-1969), "John Carter of Mars," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and all points in between. What's more, the worlds that are created here, you feel like you can come right out and touch them. They practically beg to be explored and thanks in part to the script, you get a decent if breezy tour of Alpha via Valerian and Laureline's fast-paced adventure.

Yet the lows in this movie are almost embarrassingly low, with every bad decision sticking out like Chris Tucker in cheetah print. The problems start almost immediately. Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne for all their efforts are sorely miscast as our heroes; trying desperately to pull off a Han/Leia vibe with the chemistry of flat soda. Much of it can't be helped of course; partially due to their age they look less like grizzled space cops whom by their own admission "have seen it all," and more like children playing dress up. You can also just tell what little direction they were given was limited to them hitting their mark and reading their lines, never mind emoting or interacting with the space in any meaningful way.

There's also the issue of the plot, which on its own merits is fine and even a little illuminating on paper. Yet due to the way the story unfolds, we're given everything we need to piece together the themes very early on. Its clear Luc Besson (who also wrote the screenplay) doesn't want to bog the movie down too much with Avatar (2009) -level messaging. Gadgetry can be argued to be its own reward. But because the movie is in such a rush to whisk us to the next show-stopping set-piece, it all but ignores its problematic elements. Elements that include but are not limited to: a simple "noble savage" vs. militaristic boogeyman narrative, human (alien) trafficking being treated as a fumbled plot device, an alien race modeled after feudal Japanese stereotypes that actually eats people...

Yet despite big, big, BIG problems, Valerian still manages to eek out enough good ideas worthy of a tacit recommendation. The bustling city of Alpha, reminiscent of Venice during the Renaissance or Baghdad at the height of the Abbasids is certainly worth a look. Of course if the imagination inherent in a far-future sci-fi smorgasbord isn't enough to entice you, and you're more concerned with say story, plot etc. then I say read the graphic novels instead.


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