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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

6.42 h 16 min2017X-Ray13+
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is the visually spectacular new film from Luc Besson, based on the ground-breaking comic book series which inspired a generation of filmmakers.
Luc Besson
Dane DeHaanCara DelevingneClive Owen
Science FictionAction
EnglishEnglish [CC]
Audio Languages
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Supporting actors
RihannaEthan HawkeHerbie HancockKris WuRutger Hauer
Virginie Besson-Silla
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices


4.3 out of 5 stars

7244 global ratings

  1. 61% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 4% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Omand OriginalReviewed in the United Kingdom on 07 February 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
A couple of hours with your intellect switched off and your imagination switched on
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When Rihanna isn’t the worst casting choice in your film you have a problem. I know, I know. Every other article/post/whinge about the film that you will have read has gone on and on (and on and on) about the hideous errors in casting Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne in the lead roles and I have to agree. They don’t fit the source material (according to the comics he is a square jawed, by-the-book soldier who is a bit of a “shoot now ask questions later type” from the 28th century, she is an 11th century red headed French peasant girl that got swept up in a Doctor Who style timey-wimey companion way), but they also don’t fit their own characters within the grand scheme of things as laid out by the film (which I can accept wanted to, ironically, modernise them a bit) and they sure as hell don’t have any chemistry with each other as a team, romantic or otherwise. To be honest, their acting isn’t awful, they hit their marks and delivered their lines and kept the plot going, but it just didn’t work for me, it was a bit devoid of, well, anything really and that’s all I’m going to say on that matter.

Those two aside though, I loved the film! Firstly, it looks GORGEOUS. The special effects were absolutely stunning, the space scenes were epic, the city scenes even moreso. From the sweeping vistas, to the tiniest detail, it just pulled you in and held you rapt to the screen. I loved the concept of the Big Market near the start that you can only see through special goggles, otherwise it looks like you’re standing in the middle of a huge desert and the separate zones on the space station all had their own characteristics, there was nothing generic about them. The story too was actually great fun! Pretty simple as plots go, yes, but swashbuckling action and adventure of the over-the-top kind that you’d find in the Star Wars or Indiana Jones films. However you could tell that it was Besson and not Spielberg behind Valerian, both as screenwriter and director, because the film had Besson’s signature deftness of touch that gave it that special French feel - you'll know what I mean if you've watched other French cinema. The humour had his oblique dry wit, the violence was suitably “graphic novel” in its graphic-ness and the incidental characters and species were utterly wonderful, adding a real richness to the environments. Talking of whom, the cameos were absolutely superb! Yes, even Rihanna who, after her... umm... interesting pole dance, really gave her character a personality that made you want to root for her. Add to that Ethan Hawke out-Depp-ing Johnny Depp as her cowboy/pirate/pimp/club owner, Herbie Hancock scowling through the monitors as the Defense Minister and the legend that is Rutger Hauer as the President of the World (ok World Federation but... yeah, World really) and, lead characters aside, the casting is really cool. And that’s before we get to the magnificence of Clive Owen as the Commander – but I don’t want to spoil the story.

So do your best to get past the casting of the leads (it IS possible and didn’t spoil the film at all for me when I stopped worrying about how much better they could have been if they had been somebody else and just went with it), realise that you’re going to get a film that is massively style over substance and just spend a couple of hours with your intellect switched off and your imagination switched on and you’ll love it.
74 people found this helpful
AJReviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 December 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Escape to fantasy Land
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Okay...let's get this one out of the way first. Yerrrrrt again, the bad guy is the English bloke. Yawn.
Back to the film. I think the other reviews have been harsh, this is a good film.
Who's to say what life looks like on other planets? Almost every other film shows them as humans with a few bits either added or removed. We are far more likely to find a bunch of very strange types of life, evolved to fit their planet's habitat?
The plot? Easy to follow and not confused or lost in the way the film tells the story.
The lead characters play their parts well, and do not distract at all from the plot.
Then you have the glorious, spectacular landscapes and space station. Almost brilliant effects. Ruined by the first scene where you can actually see where the wires are holding the 'floating' man in the first space station. ooops.
I was engrossed from start to finish.
Plot. Don't read if you don't want any spoilers at all!
Shows how the current Earth space station gradually grows over time. Becomes too big to stay in Earth's orbit and so is allowed to leave orbit and over thousands of years, keeps growing and becomes home to almost every species in the universe.
Then a story revolving around a peaceful group of aliens that have their world destroyed.
No more plot as it would spoil the film completely.
Buy this one.
12 people found this helpful
rob wReviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 August 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Bright, Colourful and Mad
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This is a film by Luc Besson the director who made The Fifth Element and Lucy this film is just as extravagant and odd as those other films. Dane Dehaan and Cara Delevingne play two agents based on an ever evolving space station/world, their job is to protect a commander played by Clive Owen who is trying to cover up a genocide. The film is filled with colourful aliens and explores the different worlds that exist on the space station. The film also stars Rihanna as an exotic dancer who is actually a blue form changing alien and her performance is charming.
But the main reason for watching this film is the worlds which Luc Besson creates it is like watching a psychedelic extravaganza with very bright colours and equally absurd characters it is a film to wallow in the visual excesses of Besson. If the film has a weakness it is i feel that the central relationship doesn't quite spark but that is just a minor blip just sit back and enjoy the visual feast.
14 people found this helpful
John TarikReviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 March 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
A "Valerian" 3D Edition Worth Eating.
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I like this film. It's a fun sci-fi romp. On par with "The Fifth Element" action and character wise. Lots of visual eye candy effects in this one.

The steel box edition of this film is not region free. However, if you have the right BRD player (certain Sony and Panasonic models apparently) you might be able to use one of a few remote control "button tricks" to get it to play on a US player. Search your fav video repository for a "how to" vid on that. Amazing what you can find on that internet these days.

I imported this film for the 3D disc. I originally bought a region free release from Hong Kong, but was utterly disappointed with the horrible 3D conversion issues it had during the space scenes and dark interior shots which make up a third of the movie. This UK Steelbox Version of "Valerian" is far better 3D wise. Not perfect, but 90% better conversation wise (at least on my system).

They stopped selling 3D BD in the US. Theaters have reduced 3D screenings by half there. Very happy Amazon UK still supports 3D.
14 people found this helpful
Avid ReaderReviewed in the United Kingdom on 01 December 2017
2.0 out of 5 stars
Decent ideas let down by the cast
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I wanted to like this. Something a bit strange, a bit new, a director taking a chance....but in the end I couldn't even finish it. The concepts and ideas were all there, but the acting on all fronts was so awful that I just didn't care what was going on or if, in the end, everyone died. It was that bad. The two central leads take a lot of the blame, but the supporting cast weren't doing them any favours either.
Shame. I really wanted to like it.
15 people found this helpful
MaxReviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 October 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Terrible main character (if you consider Valerian the main character?)
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Do yourself a favour and skip any scene where he's talking and you might be able to enjoy some of the pretty bits of the movie. Rhianna played the only creature that was impressive and the only one actually seeming to be pulling off her character.

Cara was lovely and I did think she did very well, as long as you ignore or skip her fawning over or interacting with her 'partner'.

It's like Lord of the Rings in some ways. The main way being if the lead character wasn't terrible (or even better, wasn't in the movie), it might be pretty good. Another way being that it was very pretty. Yet another way is that it's all about trying to deliver an object somewhere with a lot of bad guys and travelling in the way. Also the way that there are ogres. And that there were essentially elves in both movies.

Maybe this movie is actually a reskinned LotR? Wow, I had never considered that before.

Anyway, I was going to give it a 2 star, but I realise I really don't like much about this movie so will drop it down to a 1 star.

Hope this review helps someone out there muddle through the movie without clawing their face off.
One person found this helpful
Twisted_MentatReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 August 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Pretty but disapointing and a waste of an mashup setting that inspired numerous big franchises
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one for comic/teen-movie/sci-schlock fans only, it's an intro to a nonsensical anything is possible setting without having the humour or care required to carry that tone

more detail
Love the intro buildup sequence
The frolicking beach body ready avatar-alien-cousins were an intriguing if not interesting way to set up the intended story

the intro to the 2 main cast is indicative the movie from there on.
pretty, vapid and constantly interrupted by a proverbial finger-waggle at something the writers/director doesn't approve of but included so they could point at it and berate/tut-at the audience for simply trying to enjoy what should have been a sci-fi adventure in a space-bazar setting

the first mission is all over the place
half way fifth element future-grime with slick editing
half way live action comic-book (rather than adapting a comic to live action the characters act like they are still in the pages of such a comic, static shots and paragraphs of dialogue mid-sequence) and the rest of the movie follows in that constant tonal shift with seemingly phoned in or deliberately acting stupid

the action sequences have a lot of VFX going on but very action on (plot armour is king, no dumb move goes unrewarded, no snark without a nonsensical idiocy in the enemy forces)

with constant juvenile "bad things are bad" talking points in the place of what could have been a well told tale in an interesting setting.

worst of all the played-serious (then silly, then untouchable, then naive then preachy) Rhianna character who could avoid attacks from behind by splitting apart like sentient flubber (a friendly attack at that from someone with zero knowledge of their abilities) went from being virtually invulnerable to dead in the span of a scene-change just to go heavy handed on illegal/undocumented immigration messaging

gave the movie a second chance as I hadn't seen it in a few years but it's as unfun dumb now as it was back then. Visually it's got everything, acting, cast, characters, action and plot wise it's a bad joke taken too far.
Gee69Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 August 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Great visuals, poor characters.
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I'm a great fan of Luc Besson films, they are always well constructed, acted, filmed etc..

This sadly was not anywhere like as good as his other work.
The visuals are outstanding, easily on par with the best, and you feel that everything really is part of a living breathing universe.

Unfortunately the whole thing is let down by a poor plot, and lead characters that you really don't care about at any point or on any level. Valerian especially is awful. They really must be scraping the bottom of the barrel if a person like him manages to become a major at such a young age. Annoying does not begin to describe him.
And his sergeant, whilst undoubtedly a 'looker' manages to go most of the film without even cracking a smile.
They are just plain unlikeable.

The plot is straight forwards, but at the same time confusing, and the story lacks anything in the way of twists or turns. It starts and 2 hours later reaches a conclusion without anything surprising happening at all.

Very disappointing. I shall have to watch Fifth Element again now as that is a far superior film IMO.
3 stars is probably too generous, 2.5 is nearer the mark.
One person found this helpful
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