How do I write a review for a movie that hasn't officially been released yet? I can initially state that I went to a sneak preview and didn't have to watch some shitty phone camera recorded version by some asshat that is ruining cinema. I got to see it in real time on the big screen in all of its 3D glory. I'll try and navigate this as best I can without giving away any plot twists or ruining the movie for those that wish to be surprised on their own.
Firstly, I generally hate 3D. There are very few movies that use 3D to genuinely enhance the feel of what's on the screen. I think Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets might make that list after seeing it. The scenery was amazing. It was lush and vibrant from beginning to end. The portions of the movie that were drab and dreary still somehow seemed to be exciting. I guess I shouldn't say I'm surprised whatsoever. This is after all a Luc Besson movie. That guy does not mess around when it comes to creating immersive universes. Speaking of him and that, from what I'm to understand, this movie exists within the same universe as The Fifth Element. I didn't do any internet reading prior to seeing the movie to see if there were any easter eggs to tie the two together. Doesn't matter either way but it wouldn't surprise me. I guess (again without giving away any spoilers or anything of the sort), suffice it to say I was drawn in by the visual effects, the imagery, and the universe on-screen.
I obviously want to steer clear of giving away key plot details so I'll try to navigate cautiously. Basically, the story is set in about 2550 and follows two agents that work for the human government. I mean, I don't think I can really state much else because it's all integral to the plot. It is decidedly noticeable from the first scene with the two leads that there is a love story and some romance. Again with the reference point, it's very much akin to the story of Korbin and Leeloo in The Fifth Element. There was a definite romantic element to that film as well, despite both it and Valerian being heavily science fiction. As I watched Valerian, I didn't find the romance getting in the way of the story whatsoever. If anything, I felt it might be a way to show that the movie is both human and timeless, despite being five plus hundred years in the future.
I don't know a lot of films that the two leads (Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne) have been in. I guess the former was Green Goblin in those atrocious Spider-Man films with Andrew Garfield and the latter was The Enchantress in Suicide Squad. That's about it for my knowledge of them. I have to say that their interactions were playful and fun. I didn't know anyone else in the film just from seeing a trailers that I did, so I won't ruin that surprise either. There are some great actors and everyone suited their role. Actually, I can make mention of Rihanna because she shows up in a trailer if only for a couple seconds. She plays a small role in the film but didn't detract from things whatsoever. That whole "I'm famous in other venues so I should branch out" thing sometimes doesn't work at all, but in her case, it's okay. Another really cool thing that I thought Valerian did was sparingly use subtitles. While there are a veritable cornucopia of different species on-screen at any time, what they were feeling and required to emote came across even if they were speaking an unintelligible tongue. I like when that happens in film. I'm also a big fan of subtitles. I watch everything with them on if I can. I don't know why, but it helps the experience. Weird, I know.
So, I hope I didn't give anything important away about Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets. I wanted to write a review about the film because a) I saw it and b) I genuinely enjoyed it. I'm sure I'll scour the internet for trivia and easter eggs over the next few days and then see it again on the big screen. I think this movie has some great action, some great science fiction elements, a bit of romance, and it had a few genuine laughs. I recommend the film and hope that we as an audience get to see Valerian and Laureline in more adventures!