So we finally watched Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. We watched it just for the video effects because Valerian looked so poorly cast and because many people said the story was a muddle. Well, many people were wrong. The movie was much like the comic and perhaps it was confusing for folks not used to scifi, but it actually held together just fine and of course, the visual effects lived up to expectations as well. I liked Cara Delevigne as Laureline, and was willing to accept Dane DeHaan as Valerian, though I think Valerian should have gone to a more rugged Hans Solo type. I was really pleased to see so much of the comic shining through, and maybe that’s what the American audiences missed, because they didn’t know the basic plot. Maybe they thought that some of the scenes were derivative of Star Wars, though of course it was the other way around. Valerian was a solid movie, and the plot held together just fine, but it didn’t connect at a deep emotional level, and that cost it dearly. There didn’t seem to be any heat between Valerian and Laureline, and it was needed badly for this movie to jump to the A list. Still, it was a solid B scifi movie, one I’ll dig out and watch again. So, I recommend it. Read the Guide to the World of Valerian first, and perhaps you’ll understand it better.
By the way, I also rewatched Moon (2009) again this week, and if you don’t like Valerian, you should love Moon, because it is hard science fiction with a very simple but very effective human story.