Luc Besson is back, returning to big budget science fiction for the first time in 20 years. That film, The Fifth Element was charming, bright and ridiculous, like a comic book come to life. Owing more to Flash Gordon than Star Wars, the film offered jaw-dropping visuals coupled with quirky performances elevating it above the normal summer blockbuster fare.
Now the first trailer has dropped for Besson’s latest film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Adapted from the long-running French Valérian and Laureline created by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières, while it certainly looks spectacular, it can’t help but feel a little familiar.
Check it out.
There is a lot to take in in this brief trailer, but any insight into the plot will have to wait. Instead we are treated to glorious image after glorious image, underwater monsters, energy platforms, space battles-wait was that Rihanna?-all scored to the trippy sounds of the Beatles’ Because. It plays like a sci-fi fan’s ultimate dream, but it all seems eerily reminiscent of other movies. The vast future cityscapes are straight up Fifth Element, but the creature design feels very John Carter and there seems to be a desert sequence that looks an awful lot like Fury Road. Maybe the marketing team is holding back, after all despite the presence of stars Cara Delevingne and Dane DeHaan, neither Clive Owen or Ethan Hawke is present here. A quick look ahead to the summer releases for next year is enough to give us hope. Imaginative big budget sci-fi is becoming rarer and rarer these days and one should never underestimate the mad genius of Luc Besson. Lets just hope this is more Fifth Element then Jupiter Ascending.