A look at ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ Teaser Trailer #2

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Teaser Trailer #2

  • Director: Luc Benson
  • Writer: Screenplay by Gaby Chiappe. Based on the novel by Lissa Evans
  • Producer: Luc Besson and Virginie Besson-Silla
  • Full movie release date: In Theaters July 21, 2017
  • Official site: www.valerianmovie.com

Synopsis and direct info: “VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is the visually spectacular new adventure film from Luc Besson, the legendary director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the ground-breaking comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers.

In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are a team of special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha—an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.”

Other notes:
The movie is based of Valérian and Laureline (French: Valérian et Laureline),  a French science fiction comics series, created by writer Pierre Christin and artist Jean-Claude Mézières. It was first first published in 1967, then finalized in 2010. Currently, the Valérian series is collected in graphic novel formats, comprising twenty-one volumes plus side-stories and sourcebook.

Personal Thoughts: 

I know nothing of the original long-running comics or hype before this trailer and the previous shown. Based on the trailer alone, I am looking forward to this.

The why of this follows from many reasons. The sci-fi aesthetics are the initial appeal, with plenty wondrous shots of aliens, monsters, spaceships and an insane world-building that pushes the imagination of usual sci-fi fanfare of established fandoms. Everything about this seems fresh, though not completely original.

The trailer gives just enough of the plot, to lead the viewer into some journey that is both exciting and action-packed. There is some established social and political structure, but the basis of it all looks adventurous and action-packed with potential to appeal to the Star Wars and Firefly fandoms. That brings a feeling rarely seen in movies from original content, and why Guardians of the Galaxy did well at the box office, I think. This trailer delivers what looks like great escapism and sci-fantasy, with a story that leaves room for further development.

I also enjoyed the work of Luc Benson, through his directed movies spanning over three decades. The French director’s creative involvement can be found in over 50 films. His best work as the director, producer, and screenwriter are The Fifth Element. Nikita, Lucy. His latest work scheduled for release is now Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Enjoying his work puts me elsewhere into a fantastical setting that feels real.  He doesn’t have any particular style that spans throughout, just that he puts a lot of detail and thought into every scene, along with solid, interesting characters.

For other recent trailers, I felt much less hyped up. I think perhaps because I have been let down, and then feel manipulated by others in the past. The appeal of trailers in modern times are often based on well-known franchises or unnecessary reboots. I featured this particular trailer for Stranger Worlds as I felt a bit burned by the new It horror movie trailer, based upon Stephen King’s original book (and well-known movie). People seem generally satisfied with that, even though everything about the trailer looks generic and unoriginal. Also, there is that reminder that Hollywood is looking to mine every familiar pop-culture thing possible. And yes, that includes Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

But, there is much unfamiliarity in this for me and others craving something new on the big screens, for action and adventure not connected to the latest exhausted franchises. Valerian appears fresh and exciting, and I look forward.

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