I tend to like Luc Besson’s films, Leon, The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita… and of course he’s written and created tons of other things I’ve enjoyed as well, so I was very happy to take a look at this entry into the 101 Sci-Fi Movies list.
The world seems to be a desolate wasteland, the atmosphere is so toxic that people can’t speak… That’s right, the film is virtually without dialogue.
The film, shot in black and white, with a score by Eric Serra (who was familiar to me because of his scores for The Fifth Element as well as Goldeneye), follows The Man (Pierre Jolivet), who upon stealing a car battery from a cluster of survivors, finishes crafting his escape.
He’s made a small plane.
He just wants to get away.
His escape leads him to the ruins of a city where two men are always at odds…
There’s the doctor (Jean Bouise), safe within his secured hospital building, and The Brute (Jean Reno, always good to see him!), always trying to find a way in, though we don’t know why until the film reaches its climax.
The Man initially encounters The Brute as he wanders the city, scavenging, exploring, and is wounded viciously, but the doctor (sorry there’s only one Doctor who gets caps for that) saves him. Together, the two of them form a friendship, and things go smoothly for a while, until the doctor reveals the secret he has hidden in one of his buildings…
And possibly the reason The Brute is trying to break in.
Clocking in at just under 90 minutes, the film is an interesting experience.
It’s beautifully shot, and while sometimes the music seems a little dated, and very 80s, it somehow works for the film.
And because there’s no dialogue, just gestures and words, you tend to draw what you want from the story, you can project on to the characters. I found myself wondering about The Brute’s motivations, and what the doctor had done, and how the secret he was keeping affected Reno’s character. Especially considering what happens…
There are some poignant scenes, the man trying to read aloud.
There are some funny scenes, the film’s opening with The Man having sex with a blow-up doll.
There are odd scenes, the sudden rain storm, composed of fish…
It’s an odd movie, and while it is a post-apocalyptic film, it isn’t your general commercial sci-fi fare. But don’t let that scare you off, it’s well worth the look, and is a lot fun. I don’t want to say too much more, because I don’t want to spoil it for those who have yet to see it.
What’s your favorite Luc Besson film?