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‘Valerian’ is This Summer’s Sci-fi Delight

Image+courtesy+of+STX+Entertainment
Image courtesy of STX Entertainment

Image courtesy of STX Entertainment

Image courtesy of STX Entertainment

Story By: Jorge Rodriguez, Reporter

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When people talk about crowd-sourced independent films, what comes to mind are small budgets and little-known actors; this crowd-sourced film is a different kind of indie film. With a huge budget and a cast that can rival any summer blockbuster there is, no wonder why some have trouble calling it an indie film.

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” is the newest sci-fi film by director Luc Besson who is best known for his 1997 film “The Fifth Element” and his more recent film “Lucy” which starred Scarlett Johansson.

With funding for the film coming mainly from Besson himself and a viral crowd-funding campaign, “Valerian” has become the most expensive independent film ever made.

Adapted from a French graphic novel, “Valerian” is being compared to the likes of James Cameron’s “Avatar” and with good reason; the film is visually stunning with great graphics, action scenes and visual effects.

The film stars Dane DeHass as Valerian and Cara Delevingne as Laureline as the film’s main protagonists, along with a supporting cast with the likes of Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke and Rihanna among others.

“Valerian” follows the adventures of Valerian and Laureline, two space-and-time traveling officers in charge of retrieving a package from a distant planet all while discovering a plot to cover up a crime committed by their commanding officer.

Even though the film looks stunning (especially in 3D) the story starts to drag on halfway through and it becomes very predictable at times. In addition to this, the love story between DeHass and Delevingne’s characters seems to be forced as soon as the movie begins with no substantial back story to go on.

DeHass’ performance as Valerian was good, but he lacked the charm of an action hero and that took away from his execution. On the other hand, Delevingne’s performance as Laureline was more believable and more like an action hero, even though at times the film made her seem more like a damsel in distress than hero.

With a running time of over two hours, this big indie film’s action and the visual effects make up for what the story lacks to deliver and makes it so that the viewer is interested in the movie’s plot.

Overall the film works as a good sci-fi movie, giving the audience what they want to see: an action-adventure film that even comes off as comedic at times. “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” might not become a summer blockbuster, but it’s an enjoyable movie that won’t make you regret paying money to go see it.

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‘Valerian’ is This Summer’s Sci-fi Delight