Had the movie Valerian squarely on my schedule to see on opening weekend, and I stayed the course! And despite the bevy of negative or mostly negative early reviews and commentary, I knew waaaaaaay early on that I would like Valerian, because its just the kind of film my weirdo ass loves to watch. I had a couple issues with it, which were minor relatively speaking and more a personal gripe, but I will say this, it did have one of the greatest and most creative opening sequences I’ve seen in a long while.
** SPOILERS AHEAD **
The Movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Let me set the stage. Right at the beginning of the film, it opens with the crew of the International Space Station in orbit around earth, in our current time. We see crews from different countries around the world and over the years, docking with the space station and greeting (via handshake) the crew previously stationed on the platform. We watch this procession of countries and cultures go through this ritual many times and over the span of tens of years, until we see our first alien ship dock with the station.
Again, we see the constant procession of alien delegations, each one more diverse and outlandish than the next, dock and board with the space station and greet the human occupants with a handshake (which is funny in its own right being that many of species don’t necessary all have hands but an odd assortment of appendages). As each alien culture dock with the station, they stay, with the space station growing bigger and larger with each visiting species.
Eventually the space station (or more like space city), becomes too large to stay in Earth’s orbit and had to leave, traveling into deep space to set up permanent post in some distant system.
The whole opening here is so well done and conveys its message so creatively, and too a great soundtrack of songs that for me, it ranks as one of the best opening sequences in a film I’v ever seen.
The movie Valerian had its faults (for me, I wasn’t big on Rihanna’s character and the constant romantic bickering between the main characters got old for me….FAST!). But these were minor and on the whole I enjoyed the film. If you like Sci-fi, and don’t mind a whole lot of CGI eye candy, i think you’ll appreciate what Luc Besson is trying to create here.