Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a 2017 space-opera based on the French science-fiction comics Valérian and Laureline. The movie stars Dane DeHaan as Valerian and Cara Delevinge as Laureline as two special division police on board Alpha, a massive space station in deep space that is home to millions of different aliens.
Since it was developed, the International Space Station grew in size until it became a risk to the Earth, and in the 28th Century, the decision is made to launch it into deep space in order to allow it to continue to grow. It changes its name to Alpha and becomes a home to millions of different alien species. Two members of the special police division, Valerian and Laureline, are sent on a mission to retrieve a Mül converter from a black market dealer. Just before the mission, Valerian has a dream about a planet being destroyed but has no idea why. After they have retrieved the converter (which turns out to be a little creature that makes multiple copies of what it consumes) they head back to Alpha. It is here that they are attacked and have to journey deep inside the space station to save the life of their commanding officer.
Thoughts on the Story
The visual effects for the movie were amazing. The depiction of the Pearl people was a particular favourite of mine. They reminded me of mermaids, and if mermaids were real this is probably as close as they would get looks wise. The movie was independently financed by crowdsourcing and is currently one of the most expensive independent and non-American movie ever made. The movie is generally considered a box office flop as it did not do as well as anticipated during its opening weekend. But keep in mind, it opened the same weekend as Dunkirk.
As with all movies that are based on comic books, there is wriggle-room for storytelling. I will admit that I have never read the original comics but I am definitely interested in it after hearing that it is in French. All in all, it is not a bad movie despite not being a box office success. The idea that the International Space Station evolves over the years to house multiple alien species is an interesting idea. There is also plenty of aliens onscreen to help make the diversity seem more realistic.