Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets (2017)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger
The beginning of the film shows the creation of "Alpha", which grows into a huge city in space. First, it is a small station in orbit about the Earth, then it begins to grow as the crew peacefully welcomes new members. First these are humans of different nationalities, then it's an assortment of various aliens. Eventually the space station becomes so large that it's released from Earth's orbit, to travel into deep space. We skip 400 years and it's become "Alpha", also known as the City of a Thousand Planets, where diverse species interact and share their knowledge. Major Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Sergeant Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are human agents sent to recover a device that can re-produce anything. This takes them to a planet where they are able to interact with another dimension and take stuff from there, via a matter converter, and eventually end up at the City, where they solve a mystery about a radioactive section of the place. Commander Filitt (Clive Owen), who they take orders from, has an alien as a prisoner and this alien is not on any of the records. In fact, the Commander may have something to do with virtually wiping the species out. Along the way Valerian befriends a shape-shifting alien named Bubble (Rihanna), who helps him rescue Laureline from some man-eating creatures. Visually, the movie is fantastic and there are some things I've never seen in a science-fiction movie before, from the androgynous aliens of Mul to the three pigeon/anteater-like informants that supply Laureline with intel.
The story is fairly simplistic, as was AVATAR, but like that movie it's primarily a visual experience with an overall positive message.