Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Parent Guide
This comic book adaptation spends too much effort on special effects and not enough time on story development.
Parent Movie Review
What do Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planetsand Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace have in common? Both movies can be accused of spending too much effort on special effects and not enough time on story development. (Valerian is based on a French graphic novel series, so one would think the screenwriters should have had plenty of material to work with. Still, something gets lost in the translation.)
Set in a far distant future, Earth’s former space station is now a mega city called Alpha. It has been set afloat in the cosmos and is inhabited by at least a thousand different species who live together in peace and cooperation. A collaborative government of some sort has been established to spread order in the rest of the universe as well. Agents Valerian and Laureline (Dane DeHaan andCara Delevingne) are part of this intergalactic, military-style task force.
In this film, the partners are sent to retrieve a stolen replicator. The quick mission unexpectedly turns into something much longer and more complicated when another attempt is made to pinch the valuable article. While trying to protect the hot property, a connection is discovered between it and a sinister threat embedded deep in the heart of Alpha. Valerian and Laureline are determined to untangle the mystery behind the much sought-after object, even after they are separated and meet with the disapproval of their superiors.
As the flimsy plot unfolds, the characters have ample opportunities to meet a vast array of aliens, who are depicted in CGI glory. (Some of these are unique, but others look a lot like creatures seen in science fiction flicks like Avatar and the aforementioned Star Wars.) They transverse a variety of spectacular environments (also computer generated) and take on multiple, fantastical enemies. The bulk of the production’s time is spent depicting the heroes in perilous situations, where battles and skirmishes occur, and characters are shot, injured and killed. While these depictions are bloodless, they are plentiful and the body count is senselessly high.
In between the action sequences and a smattering of profanities, Valerian and Laureline engage in flirting that consists mostly of verbal banter, innuendo and a couple of kisses. Although Laureline protests Valerian’s past sexual conquests, her demands for honorable behavior and a committed relationship aren’t very convincing. Other sexual content includes the scanty costuming on most of the female cast, and especially on a seductively-dressed sex slave (Rihanna) who works in a brothel and amuses her costumers with pole dancing and sensual moves.
Instead of a strong script or believable character motivations, this movie aims to distract its audience with amazing visuals and technical wizardry. If you come expecting popcorn entertainment, you will get an ample helping. But like those fluffy white kernels, the experience is filling, just not very satisfying.Directed by Luc Besson. Starring Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, John Goodman, Ethan Hawke . Running time: 137 minutes. Theatrical release July 21, 2017. Updated July 20, 2017
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Rating & Content Info
Why is Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets rated PG-13? Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sci-fi violence and action, suggestive material and brief language.
Violence: Portrayals of non-graphic violence are frequent and include shootouts with guns and other weapons, hand-to-hand confrontations, stabbings, explosions, vehicle crashes and monster attacks. Characters are injured and killed, and many corpses are shown. Strange and sometimes frightening alien characters are depicted. Black-market trading is shown. A planet is attacked, destroyed and its inhabitants killed. Parents become emotional when they are unable to rescue a child. A character threatens to eat a human. A civilization is threated by an unknown force and radiation. A character is tortured (not shown on screen) and threated with death. An army uses weapons that cocoon their enemies in a thick, sticky substance. Characters are kidnaped, caged and bound. A character kicks, hits and repeatedly punches her opponents. Characters are in peril on many occasions. Characters are spit on. Characters lie and betray the trust of others.
Sexual Content: Throughout the movie, female characters are seen in revealing costumes. A man and woman dressed in swimwear (his bare chest is seen, she is in a skimpy bikini) playfully wrestle with one another. A brothel is depicted with pimps and prostitutes. A woman, who is a sex slave, wears various suggestive costumes, and gives a sensual performance that includes pole dancing. A man is accused of having a long list of sexual conquests. Characters embrace and kiss. A woman uses her sex-appeal to manipulate men. Sexual references and innuendo are heard.
Profanity: Infrequent use of scatological slang, profanity, name-calling and slurs.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A character is bribed with alcohol and is seen drinking it out of a bottle. A pimp offers a costumer a drink and prepares to pour one for himself.
Page last updated July 20, 2017
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Parents' Guide
Valerian has a dream about an alien race that live a tribal existence on a paradisiacal planet. What stereotypes are included in their depiction (like the amount of clothes they wear and the way they interact with one another)? How does their lifestyle compare with other species living in highly civilized worlds? Do you think it is possible to live in peace and enjoy the benefits of technology?
Who are the bad guys in this movie? What motivated their actions? What things do they value? What things are they willing to destroy for their own gain? Why are some people willing to sacrifice for the greater good, while others behave selfishly? Which group do you feel is doing the “right” thing? Are you ever tempted to put your own needs above those of others?
News About "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets"
This movie is based on a graphic novel series.
From the Studio: Rooted in the classic graphic novel series, Valerian and Laureline- visionary writer/director Luc Besson advances this iconic source material into a contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga. Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. Valerian has more in mind than a professional relationship with his partner- blatantly chasing after her with propositions of romance. But his extensive history with women, and her traditional values, drive Laureline to continuously rebuff him. Under directive from their Commander (Clive Owen), Valerian and Laureline embark on a mission to the breathtaking intergalactic city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis comprised of thousands of different species from all four corners of the universe. Written by EuropaCorp