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Movie Review – Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

This may come as a surprise but I’m not too sold on sci-fi movies. Yes, you could argue that most of the movies I review have some sort of sci-fi element to them but even with that those aren’t sold as pure science fiction. So, when Ster-Kinekor approached me with the prospect of potentially reviewing the intriguing Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets movie I was a bit torn. What this movie did present initially is a similar (mixed) concept to Star Wars and Avatar [two of the few sci-fi movies I mostly enjoy(ed)], I couldn’t flat out say no. Plus it being in 3D sounded like a great idea, so why not?

Cast – Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu & Rutger Hauer

Director – Luc Besson

Genre – Science fiction film/Action

Running Time – 2h 17m

The Plot

In the 28th century, special operatives Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline work together to maintain order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the minister of defense, the duo embarks on a mission to Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis where diverse species gather to share knowledge and culture. When a dark force threatens the peaceful city, Valerian and Laureline must race against time to identify the menace that also jeopardizes the future of the universe.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a good watchable movie to a point. To a point in the sense that whilst watching I at times found myself asking “what am I watching exactly?” Yes, in those exact words. The movie is quite weird with the level of fiction being on another level, something I found both a bit too much at times but also quite cool in other instances.

You could say that the movie is an acquired taste that will attract some but sadly won’t do a lot for some. Which side of the fence am I sitting on exactly when it comes to it? To be honest, I’m not too sure as I briefly mentioned before, there are some parts I liked and others didn’t quite do it for me. The visuals are great especially when watching in 3D however the plot itself leaves a lot to be desired, there just isn’t enough meat on it.

For what it promised to be and what it could have been, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets falls a bit short and will pass up as just another decent sci-fi movie that didn’t present anything special. Despite all that said, as briefly mentioned again, the movie is watchable and most will probably be able to sit through it despite its faults.

Valerian and the City isn’t the best movie around but makes for a decent watch, this is thanks to its weird but great visual effects. The plot line isn’t the best and could have been fleshed out more to produce a great movie, sadly that’s not the case here. This movie is perfect for sci-fi crazy individuals and can do the job for general movie watchers. It gets a decent 2.9 out of 5 rating from me.  


Thabiso Moloi
With many, many years of PR, digital & Influencer Marketing work under his belt, Thabiso has worked on a great number of technology brands and gadgetry (which we feature here thoroughly) and has over the years grown a keen liking for. He's been obsessed with technology (and most things under the sun) for as long as he can remember. For now, he covers smartphone reviews (spanning everything from entry to premium devices) as well as entertainment related stuff. You can find him on Twitter: @Thabz_14