I’ve never actually read Pierre Christin’s “Valérian and Laureline” comic. I was still excited for Valerian and the city of a thousand planets to arrive in theaters. That excitement wasn’t enough to overcome the negative press that surrounded this movie. That shouldn’t stop you from seeing it at home.
Generally, I don’t give a lot of consideration to what the critics say about a movie. I do give a lot of consideration to the cost of going to the cinema today. I don’t want to regret spending twenty plus dollars on a film that I didn’t enjoy.
After watching Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets on Blu-Ray, I found myself wondering why all the movie critics disliked it so much. It was a fun movie. The Valérian and Laureline comic had a huge influence on numerous science fiction titles (which may have lead to some unreasonably high expectations). The movie was directed by Luc Besson. The critics have seen his other films. What were they expecting?
I admit that there are a few issues. For example, the pacing could be a little faster. A lot of time is spent on scenes early in the film that could have been shortened. Besson was probably trying to show audiences new to the franchise what a typical Valerian adventure looks like.
If you enjoyed The Fifth Element, then you’re probably going to like Valerian. Just watch the trailer. Are there a thousand alien races in this film? I don’t know but there are a lot of different creatures and robots. It’s almost as if this was the project Luc was waiting for since he began making movies and Fifth Element was a primer for things to come.
In interviews published shortly before the release of the film, Luc Besson said that he would happily continue making Valerian movies for the rest of his career. Actually, I think he said He would make them for the rest of his life. You know just in case the word career doesn’t convey just how much he loves the Valerian stories. I’m thinking he’ll get it right. If you’re read the comic, you’ll have to let me know if the film hits the mark. For my part, I’ll let you know if it works for me as a stand-alone, without the expectation that it’s an accurate adaptation.