Luc Besson is known for blending elements of action and science fiction in his films, and recently directed Scarlett Johansson in 2014’s Lucy. Oh, and did I mention he also directed The Fifth Element? You’ve seen that film. Everybody has seen that film.

I mention it because it will help you understand Valerian, Besson’s new sci-fi magnum opus.

We already got a brief glimpse of the film late last year, but the latest trailer gives us a much better look at the characters and planets that we’ll see throughout the movie. If you thought Besson’s other sci-fi pieces were delightfully flamboyant, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Visually, the film is a feast. The varied locations, colors, and alien life really help bring the movie to life. It boggles the mind that filmmakers (and others involved in the production) have such vivid imaginations.

It’s based on a French science fiction comics series

Valerian is based on a comics series, so there’s already a built-in fanbase. But, with a summer release and the duo of Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevinge, it will stand on its own merits. The movie also features appearances by Clive Owen and Rihanna for that extra bit of star power.

Here’s the movie’s official synopsis:

In the 28th century, Valerian and Laureline are special operatives charged with keeping order throughout the human territories. On assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two undertake a mission to Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis where species from across the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence, and cultures. At the center of Alpha is a mysterious dark force which threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

The trailer must be seen to be believed. The title alone doesn’t really grab me but the visuals are certainly captivating. Hopefully, the story that’s told matches what audiences see onscreen when the movie is released on July 21.

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