Fred is living in the Paris Metro system. He is blackmailing Helena, whose safe he has robbed. Fred has various 'friends' all living in this sureal setting. The Roller is a rollerskating ... See full summary »
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Fred is living in the Paris Metro system. He is blackmailing Helena, whose safe he has robbed. Fred has various 'friends' all living in this sureal setting. The Roller is a rollerskating bag snatcher and Big Bill is a 'strongman'. The blackmail and Freds relationship with Helena and her heavies make up the bulk of the plot but on the side are Freds attempts to start a band using buskers from the Metro. Written by
Matthew Stanfield <email@example.com>
Truly I had no clue about what was going on in French director Luc Besson's offbeat, but terribly jerky story involving a sly safe cracker fleeing to the underground Paris Metro, after stealing some important documents off a millionaire that he would try to ransom off to. The bubblegum romantic-crime-drama premise is a washing machine filled with ideas, which are hanging off a very loose, but unpredictable plot. There's not much groundwork, but its impulsive nature, trivial gimmicks and interesting urban environment just gets you caught in the disjointed whirlwind of these strenuously adventurous situations, melancholy despair and eccentric characters. The delirious script never takes itself seriously (the humour is strong) and feels insignificant, but it sure had many awkward and lumpy exchanges. Some passages feel quite useless, and have poor continuity, but there's a certain charm that's hard to resist. The English dubbed version sounds quite terrible though.
It's like Besson has thrown caution to the wind, and is experimenting with his visually sharp prowess and stylish verve to get any sort of impact and details through. His placement, pacing and overall enthusiasm is impeccable. Some action sequences, mainly the opening car chase scene is very well delivered. He draws so much form very little and never seems bounded by logic. From the get-go he storms right in and never lets the smoking composition, slick atmosphere sway off course. Brimming in is an electrifying tacky electronic / rock soundtrack (by Eric Serra) and Carlo Varini's camera-work beautifully illustrates Besson's characteristically moody framings. The worthwhile cast do an admirable job. Christopher Lambert's broodingly dry and grasping performance has an immensely hypnotic ambiance to it. An alluring Isabelle Adjani draws up an infectiously collected, and classy performance. There's enjoyably fine kooky support from Jean-Hughes Anglade, Richard Bohringer, Jean-Pierre Barcri, Michel Galabru and the always delightful Besson regular Jean Reno.
Besson's "Subway" is resourcefully fun and colourful pulp, if a rather jaded experience.
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