We’ll be damned if we have an earnest explanation for not being more hyped before now for “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” the sci-fi action thriller coming this July from “The Fifth Element” and “Lucy” director Luc Besson.
Based on the hit French science fiction graphic novel series “Valérian and Laureline,” the promising potential sleeper blockbuster stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne respectively as the two titular heroes. The two special government operatives of the human territories find themselves pitted against romantic tension that could prove as dangerous as their task to save the intergalactic metropolis Alpha’s 17 million denizens spanning thousands of species from shadowy forces seeking the human race’s extermination.
To be honest, the fact this is helmed by the director who led “The Fifth Element” to quirky cult-classic status was enough to sell us on the price of admission. That being said, the trailer is an utter CGI feast for the eyes set to a dreamy, spare cover of “Because” by the Beatles. If absolutely nothing else, Besson’s latest should at least offer a mesmerizing parade of phenomenal creatures, dreamlike landscapes, and trippy thrills.
Of course, mileage for CGI spectacles virtually always varies. For every “Avatar” that left audiences spellbound and cheering for more, we couldn’t swing an overworked animator by the ankles without hitting someone who could name several-dozen debacles in the vein of the Star Wars prequels that tried to lay the visual pizzazz on thick to make up for stories a seven-year-old could have improved upon over a weekend.
We’ll know far, far more when “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” hits theaters worldwide* on July 21.
* – Premieres five days later in France on July 26.