Please forward this error screen themes of adaptation of children of early age 172. Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or sets their sights on a movie seemingly beloved by all.
In this edition: why the failure of Valerian the City of a Thousand Planets allows it to join the club of overlooked space fantasy that already includes the magnificent Jupiter Ascending. I saw Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets last week in a practically empty theater, and I left with a smile on my face. Once again Luc Besson gave us a fully immersive, beautiful universe, a romantic fantasy quest in an extraterrestrial setting, with a powerful message similar to that of The Fifth Element: Love conquers all. One close cousin to Valerian is the Wachowski’s delightful 2015 space opera, Jupiter Ascending. Perhaps the reason I so enjoyed Valerian was because I also happen to be a part of another small group that adored this visionary take on a space fairy tale starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum.
Admittedly, my love for Jupiter Ascending was a bit of a slow burn. It wasn’t until I went to bed the night after watching it that I realized how wonderful it really was. In a period of filmmaking obsessed with sequels and remakes, Jupiter Ascending is something completely original. It is not an adaptation, it has nothing to do with aliens versus humans, and their is no looming sense of total dread and darkness. This is a film completely from the hearts of the Wachowskis, blending science fiction with themes straight out of children’s fairy tales, and told with some of the most stunning visual designs this side of the asteroid belt. Science Fiction and Fantasy are synonymous, literary blood relatives. However, as science has caught up to science-fiction, science-fiction has lost it’s fantasy.