Saturday, November 12, 2016

First trailer for Luc Besson's 'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets' promises visionary sci-fi epic

There has been a new modern resurgence in science fiction over the last few years, with films like Gravity, Interstellar, The Martian, and this weekend's Arrival all breaking out at the box office in a big way. However, almost all of those films have been set in some kind of reality, whether it be scientific fact or modern geopolitical tensions. We haven't seen a truly wacky, audacious sci-fi movie in a while (the only film I can think of is Guardians of the Galaxy, and that had the Marvel brand on it), and frankly, it's most likely because they just don't sell like they did in the past. Fantastical sci-fi adventures used to be the bread and butter of the pulp industry, but now, everything is grounded in a way that has pushed creative absurdity to the side. Even Star Wars is taking a gritty turn in December with Rogue One, the first spin-off film that is supposedly more like an old-fashioned war movie than the Star Wars we know and love. That's why something like Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is so refreshing to me. Based on the classic French graphic novel series, Valerian appears to be unlike anything we've seen on the big screen in a long time. Check out the teaser trailer below!

Personally, I think this looks incredible. The action, the special effects, the chemistry between Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne- it all looks absolutely perfect. The neon-infused color palette is beautiful, the action appears to be dazzling, and most importantly, the film just seems like a lot of fun. Luc Besson directed The Fifth Element back in the 1990s, so this is definitely something that is in his wheelhouse. My only question at this point is the viability of this as a box office smash. I would love it if we got a Valerian franchise, but judging by recent sci-fi bombs like Jupiter Ascending and John Carter, that won't be so easy. American audiences don't like trying new, weird things, and Valerian certainly looks pretty out-there in terms of content. However, there does seem to be one common thread among the big sci-fi movies that have flopped- none of them were good. If Besson delivers the goods with Valerian, then we might just have the new sci-fi franchise we've been dreaming of. 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opens on July 26, 2017. 

Image courtesy of EuropaCorp

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