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75% Liked It
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Isabelle Adjani, Christopher Lambert, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Richard Bohringer, Michel Galabru

Coming in on the heels of his internationally acclaimed first film, Le Dernier Combat, 26-year-old director Luc Besson created this tongue-in-cheek look at filmmaking and at the denizens in the tunnel... read more read more...s of the Paris Metro -- a new kind of underground movie. Fred (Christopher Lambert) has just stolen some major documents from a birthday celebration given by the Paris elite for one of their kind, Helena (Isabelle Adjani). He takes off into the Metro just as it is shut down for the remaining few hours of predawn darkness and once in the Metro encounters several characters in the tunnels. There is a bodybuilder who works out with subway parts, a purse-snatcher, and a flower seller of dubious ethics. Inspired by the moment, Fred decides to recruit a few of the ubiquitous musicians who perform (some of the best music around) on the Metro's byways, and he creates a rock band. Through all of these encounters and activities, the police and others -- including Helena -- are after Fred for their own reasons, none of which coincide. As Fred discovers, going underground can be risky. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Id: 10331283

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Recent Reviews

  • September 14, 2009
    What I like about this film is that it can never be remade, its an original that can't be touched, from an era that I feel can never be mimicked. You could try to copy or reproduce the style but it could never be convincing. It's a great film, made when Lambert was a good actor!
  • August 28, 2009
    Weird film this, I'll be honest here, I didn't really get what was going on haha just very strange. Some regulars turn up, Reno and Anglade (both very young looking, Reno with hair!!) and do sterling work in their roles but its just a very weird film, much like Lambert's acting s... read moretyle and haircut. Nice imagery throughout though and a good car chase at the start somehow keep you and there :)
  • July 30, 2009
    So friggin' 80s... I couldn't get through Fifth Element, but this was a more watchable early outing from director Luc Besson. Punk rock style and new wave music reign supreme in this film which, perhaps with subtitles instead of dubbing (I had an old DVD, I guess), might have bee... read moren more enjoyable. Style over substance, and a better ending than beginning: you can see Besson's style being born, [insert other faint egghead critical praise here], yada yada yada... it's a style you like or you don't, too bad I'm in the latter camp.
  • fb632414987
    June 2, 2010
    Can I please have the 100 minutes of my life back that ive just wasted on this? Recommended to me by a colleague who was a friend as well but is now just a colleague after this. Bizarre non-sensical story with endless chases around the Underground\Metro\Subway (not the sandwich s... read morehop) with the painfully inept French version of the Transport Police that ends with a shooting during an 80s rock concert by the cast of It Aint Half Hot Mum. I could go on except that id rather gnaw my own left foot off.
    Lambert sports the most ridiculous hairstyle since Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands and even the usually superb Jean Reno is reduced to an imbecilic drummer that has no name who carries a set of drumsticks everywhere he goes.
    On the plus side it does look good and has a feel that is more 80's than Pink Legwarmers & Saturday evenings watching The A-Team.
  • July 30, 2013
    More concerned with looking good than going anywhere.
  • April 10, 2008
    I figured--hey, a Luc Besson film for three bucks? How can you go wrong with that? I have a masochistic appreciation for Christophe (no r!) Lambert's strange style of acting (mostly fostered by his most famous role as Connor MacLeod) so this was an easy choice for me.

    Knowing th... read moree variations that exist in Besson's films (which include, if you don't know, The Fifth Element, Léon (aka The Professional), Nikita (aka La Femme Nikita), and Le Grand Bleu) I had no idea what I was in for when I decided to watch this. I knew a chunk of Besson's work, Lambert's and even Adjani's, but didn't know much of anything about this film. Fred (Lambert) is a thief who has recently stolen sensitive materials from Héléna (Adjani) and her husband and hides himself in the Paris Métro, ransoming the documents for money, or so his notes and calls claim, but in fact to gain time alone with Héléna. He forms strange bonds with existing occupants of the underground like "The Roller Skater" (Jean-Hughes Anglade), a purse snatcher who is never seen out of his roller skates and various (eventual) band members with no real names--including Jean Reno as "the drummer" (seen constantly with a pair of drumsticks playing rhythms on whatever is at hand). Fred is trying to bring Héléna out of the upper class world she lives in and down into his, showing her the reckless joy of it over the stifled monetary plateaus of what she knows. She is resistant to this, but her husband is moreso, and all must deal with Inspector Gesberg (Michel Galabru) and his subordinates "Batman" (Jean-Pierre Bacri) and "Robin" (Jean-Claude Lecas), who are all trying to keep order in the Métro despite the anarchistic attempts of Fred and his compatriots. "Batman" is obsessed with the apprehension of the Roller Skater, even when Gesberg assigns him to something more important.

    I am actually not completely sure what I thought of this film. I did find that Lambert works a lot better in his native tongue, not needing to wrestle words through his French accent--or, heaven forbid, more layered even on top of that--and able then to manage both the physical and the verbal. He's just as aloof, mischievous and passionate as his character should be in the role, dancing (in a metaphorical sense...mostly) and charming his way into and through everyone, sometimes honestly, sometimes not. Adjani complements this very well with the stilted, upturned nose and posture of her class, the stubbornness of her clinging to the spoiled life undermined by her desire for freedom. Galabru's wise and clever elder lawman position is an archetype that serves his role as well, giving us that person who may be on the side of our protagonist, or not--who may, in fact, be a good man with a distaste for said character.

    It is, I will note, beautifully filmed, with the cover showing the fantastic shot of Lambert with a hand-held flourescent bulb lighting the majority of the scene he's in, and with a score by Besson collaborator Eric Serra accounting for an interestingly bass and synth heavy, gated drums, very, very eighties score that culminates in a performance by the band that Fred puts together from the various people hiding in and around the Métro which sets the scene for the ending just right.

    Still, something was very detached and didn't quite gel in my interaction with the film, and that leaves me at a loss for the moment as to my feelings being positive or simply neutral.

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