Luc Besson’s Subway is a very enjoyable piece of hokum. I watched it recently and I take a lot of pleasure in the opening sequences in which a Besson (a young French filmmaker) does riffs on The French Connection and American style action, but there’s more to it than that.

Set mainly in the subway, the film is teeming with life on the underground and has a nice sideline in sly humour. It’s dated now of course but still fun and worth seeing for the photography alone.

The ending has always been a tease too and I recall (I think) seeing different versions over the years. The performances are a small treat and Lambert had the ladies swooning back in the day. Standout is the guy who plays the main subway detective, it’s a funny world weary performance with knowing winks to American detectives.

Isabelle Adjani has always been a problem for me but she’s passable as the female lead.

This was made in 85 and the music seems to have dated badly, but look beyond that, this is a young director finding his feet with a deceptively simple, cinematic story.

The trailer is below (in French) and it looks glorious…


So, 41 films to go…

Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.