Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)

Directed by Luc Besson

Starring Milla Jovovich, John Malkovich, Rab Affleck, St├ęphane Algoud

Author

Joan was a cheerleader, not a fighter. This is one long pep rally. Not quite sure what the final statement on religion was.

Milla’s got cool hair, but I don’t like to root for deranged, delusional bitches. So that pretty much blew the movie for me. Her horrible performance consisted of a bewildered, “deer in the headlights” expression and a maniacal scream that was funnier than it was inspiring. All the other characters were flat and boring. Hoffman is wasted, and Malkovich acts like he learned his lines the night before the shoot. Karyo probably turns in the best performance.

Badly paced, too much musical score, much of which was used to simulate drama, all Besson trademarks. What’s with all those wide-angle close-ups? Cheesy swordplay is further ruined by cheap kinetic editing (fast-cut close-ups to simulate real action). Awful CGI decapitations and fake armor. Very long.

Somehow I feel the movie would have been more respectable had it been in French with English subtitles. One of France’s most glorious historical figures speaking English somehow cheapens it.

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