ME: When Guardians of the Galaxy blasted off all over the box office, it demonstrated that a sprawling, colorful space opera could find its place in a cinematic landscape where it hadn’t really hit in a while.
LUC BESSON: Hold my beer.
Besson, the visionary director behind The Professional, set the standard for that sort of thing in 1997 with The Fifth Element, and now he’s returning to the well with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne and based on a classic French sci-fi comic. Early buzz coming out of a footage screening at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 was pretty positive, and now a new trailer has arrived to show off the imaginative, stylish universe Besson is aiming to bring to life.
I, for one, am always on board for totally out-there sci-fi that, from the looks of things, will give Doctor Strange a run for its money in terms of colorful, mind-melting design. Here are the 7 moments that jumped out at me.
But first, the trailer in its entirety:
This guy’s upcoming hard landing
The Force Awakens showed us every big space adventure needs a showdown with a rampaging alien beast, and it looks like that’s how Valerian introduces us to its heroes. They escape, of course, but this poor SOB has a long fall ahead of him.
Welcome to Alpha
The titular city of 1,000 planets looks pretty dazzling in our -- and Valerian and Laureline’s -- first look at it. Besson is known for his visual flair, and the settings we see in this trailer -- ranging from a dazzling tropical beach to this glowing conglomeration of worlds -- look like they'll showcase that particular skill.
We’re told via voice-over that Alpha is a place where species from across the galaxy come together to share knowledge. These guys look like archivists … and they hint at Valerian’s creative creature design.
The hero shot
Valerian and Laureline are human special operatives assigned to discover what dark force threatens Alpha, and this is their official entrance. Both Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne could use a bit of a rebound, here, with DeHaan’s A Cure For Wellness having come and gone and Delevingne having recently caught a lot of flak for her performance in Sucide Squad. They certainly look the part of space heroes, here, so here’s hoping the finished product bears that out.
The epic scope
Everything in Valerian looks huge. Alpha is huge. The sea monsters that chase a submersible-piloting Valerian are huge. Oh, Avengers had one big sky vortex threatening all of existence? This shot, alone, has NINE in frame. So, yeah. It’s big.
Rihanna’s quick-change act
The R&B diva is portraying a shape-shifting entertainer in the film, and we get a quick look at her abilities here. Besson’s last space-based singer, the blue-all-over opera diva Plavalaguna, has become something of an icon in the geek space. Could Rihanna work that kind of magic here?
The trailer showcases killer robots, daring escapes, space battles, Cara Delevingne kicking ass, and a bunch of other action beats. Besson has certainly delivered on action in the past with movies like Lucy, The Professional, and The Fifth Element, so there’s reason to be optimistic, here.
Overall, this trailer has only stoked my personal fires for Valerian – there are certainly some questions to be answered, but any time we get the chance to see something as visually creative as this movie looks to be get a wide release, I’m on board. What did you think? Sound off in the comments!