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VINE VOICEon 3 October 2009
Luc Besson gives us his post apocalyptic vision of a world where everything has broken down, sand has encroached, buildings are covered, and what remains of the standing buildings are empty shells. Amongst this wasteland are sparse groups of people, some in small, uneasy groups, others on their own. They all have one thing in common, they're trying to survive.

These people no longer know anymore how to communicate with one another. No language is used. Words, language and speech are a forgotten art. People communicate by gutteral grunting, pointing or more regularly, fighting. In our modern world where our language has been decimated into new, trendy speak and text type abbreviation, Besson's craft is chilling, as his views are equally relevant today as they were in 1983. Is this where we are heading? People seem less able to get on with each other too nowadays, also crossreferenced in the film, as nearly everytime 'The Man' bumps into someone, it starts a fight.

We have the main character, simply known as 'The Man'. He spends his days passing time on his own. He's building a flying machine to try and take him further across land in search of a female companion. For this, he needs to get parts, which brings him into contact with other groups of people, from whom he steals parts. This ends in a chase naturally.

'The Man' gets away but soon comes into contact with the new focal point of the film, a watcher. A great, unhinged performance by Jean Reno, he will become 'The Man's' greatest enemy.

Battered and bruised, 'The Man' stumbles into a disused medical centre, into the life of another man, who also carries on a lonely existence and paints to pass the time. This sets the scene for the ultimate cat and mouse as Reno taunts and chases the two, somehow trying to find a way into the locked medical centre.

But while this storyline goes on, there is also another one. A more touching one, as the man in the medical centre helps our protagonist to recover and in a great scene, the only two words in the film are spoken as they both try to recapture the lost art of speech. It's part of the appeal of this film that you're hooked right from start to finish, despite the fact that there is really no dialogue or speech in it! We also learn that the older man in the centre has a lodger in one of the cells. We know little of her and see precious little until the end, and until then it is left to your imagination as to why she is there.

Shot in black and white, with a typically off the wall but appealing French soundtrack, this really is a great film. If you like films such as 'Assault On Precint 13', 'Dog Soldiers' or 'Rio Bravo', or even anything along the lines of a tense thriller where a cat and mouse game of hide and seek is going on, then this could be right up your street.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 December 2013
A very impressive first film, made on a tiny budget, this highly imaginative, sometimes darkly funny view of a post-apocalyptic world where no one
can speak is beautifully shot and designed, elements that would become hallmarks of Besson's style.

There isn't much of a plot, we just observe as several male characters struggle against the elements and each other to survive in the meager pickings
of remains of the civilized world. (For much of the film, we don't know if there are any women left at all). Sand has overtaken and filled office
buildings and water is in scarce supply. If the film were made today, one might guess global warning was the culprit of human decline, but like
much else, what happened in the past is allowed to remain a mystery. And how nice that Bresson has the courage not only to make a film without
words, but also without endless exposition.

For all the `action' implied by the title, this is no "Mad Max". While there are a few quite well done fights, much of the film is given over to slower,
smaller more human moments, most touchingly, when people try - against all odds - to connect and form bonds.

There are weaknesses. The film can feel thin, even drawn out at times, and the score can be downright awful. Why this beautiful, sad, macabre film
got an early 80s poppy disco-synth score is beyond me. I'm sure Besson had his reasons, but it's been a long time since a score so aggressively
took me out of a film. There are also some logic questions that start to become bothersome. E.g. It's one thing to postulate that for some reason no
one can speak, but since it's clear they can read and remember language (and want to speak) why does no one ever write a note? A small thing, but
when you leave so much open to question - generally a strength - you do run the risk of those questions becoming vexing.

All that said, I enjoyed the film a good deal, event if I was a bit disappointed, when all was said and done,that it didn't pack more of an emotional or
intellectual punch.

The transfer on the Optimum 'Luc Besson Collection' blu-ray is terrific, clean and rich, maximizing all the grey tones of Besson's stunning
black and white photography.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 December 2013
A very impressive first film, made on a tiny budget, this highly imaginative, sometimes darkly funny view of a post-apocalyptic world where no one
can speak is beautifully shot and designed, elements that would become hallmarks of Besson's style.

There isn't much of a plot, we just observe as several male characters struggle against the elements and each other to survive in the meager pickings
of remains of the civilized world. (For much of the film, we don't know if there are any women left at all). Sand has overtaken and filled office
buildings and water is in scarce supply. If the film were made today, one might guess global warning was the culprit of human decline, but like
much else, what happened in the past is allowed to remain a mystery. And how nice that Bresson has the courage not only to make a film without
words, but also without endless exposition.

For all the `action' implied by the title, this is no "Mad Max". While there are a few quite well done fights, much of the film is given over to slower,
smaller more human moments, most touchingly, when people try - against all odds - to connect and form bonds.

There are weaknesses. The film can feel thin, even drawn out at times, and the score can be downright awful. Why this beautiful, sad, macabre film
got an early 80s poppy disco-synth score is beyond me. I'm sure Besson had his reasons, but it's been a long time since a score so aggressively
took me out of a film. There are also some logic questions that start to become bothersome. E.g. It's one thing to postulate that for some reason no
one can speak, but since it's clear they can read and remember language (and want to speak) why does no one ever write a note? A small thing, but
when you leave so much open to question - generally a strength - you do run the risk of those questions becoming vexing.

All that said, I enjoyed the film a good deal, event if I was a bit disappointed, when all was said and done,that it didn't pack more of an emotional or
intellectual punch.

The transfer on the Optimum 'Luc Besson Collection' blu-ray is terrific, clean and rich, maximizing all the grey tones of Besson's stunning
black and white photography.
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The Last Battle (Le Dernier Combat) [Blu-ray] [1983]

I would refer you to the excellent review by "Jay M "jay_mc" but my feelings about this film are rather more mixed.

Luc Besson certainly creates an apocalyptic vision of a nuclear wasteland, with the air so polluted the few isolated remaining people are unable to speak any longer, there is a moving scene where "Man" Pierre Jolivet and "The doctor" try to speak by breathing oxygen.

The film can be interpreted many ways, for example as either the pointless existence of survivors following a nuclear holocaust, an indication of the way civilisation is progressing with people increasingly isolated by technology (computers etc), and alternatively (although never in Besson's thoughts) the outcome of global warming.

I do not see this as a silent film (the techniques are entirely different) and the lack of dialogue merely created a barrier between me and the characters and detracted from the impact of the film.

An extremely unusual and significant but somewhat dated film, therefore I would suggest renting instead of buying.
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on 6 March 2016
Finally a Blu-Ray version of La Dernier Combat....although the movie has no dialogue it is really worth a watch, its a masterpiece in cinema by the maestro himself Luc Besson. The picture and sound are clear and HD
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on 13 January 2016
Plotline similar to the original Mad Max (survival in a post apocalyptic world). You will find faster-paced films, and films with more dialogue (!), though you will have to go a long way to find as much character.
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on 19 January 2016
Many thanks . The Best Seller !
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on 30 January 2015
Brilliant Debut from Luc Besson
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on 27 April 2010
An odd film about the future with no speech, just about what you would expect from Luc Besson I did enjoy it though.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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