In an enduring era of Hollywood white-washing, Valerian truly nails its opening sequence.
Multiple teams of astronauts are seen meeting each other in space, shaking hands like noble comrades – with every major ethnic group represented as groups of scientists who have all made it to the “city of a thousand planets”.
The film continues its political commentary with a storyline that doesn’t shy away from genocide, sexism, or racism.
But first and foremost, Valerian is sassy and fun. Dane DeHaan is the ever arrogant, preppy Valerian; but paired with Cara Delevingne’s kick-ass Laureline, the two hotties play a gratifying game of lust and rivalry throughout the film.
Likewise, Rhianna is intelligent and witty as Bubble, but her character acknowledges the fact that black women are still sidelined and turned into sexualised objects.
Though thoughtful and impeccably made, Valerian is cheesy – but it’s an alien movie based on a comic book, so no one’s complaining.
Reviewed by Alex Eugene.