Luc Besson‘s first directorial effort in seven years â€” since 1999’s much-maligned "The Messenger" â€” is the black and white "Angel-A," which he secretly shot in time off from what’s become his main occupation, producing a bewildering scattering of occasionally lucrative international titles. It’s also, despite considerable anticipation among his fans, apparently no "LÃ©on" (or even "The Big Blue"); the film opened and was reviewed in the UK on Friday…what is the word we’re looking for? Withering?
Peter Bradshaw at the Guardian:
Wings of Desire it ain’t, and this picture fails to convince on any of the levels on which it presents itself.
Tim Robey at the Telegraph:
Luc Besson, what are you on?
Demetrios Matheou at the Independent:
Side by side [stars Jamel Debbouze and Rie Rasmussen] make an extraordinary spectacle, reminiscent of the pairing of the mountainous Jean Reno and Natalie Portman in Leon. Such beauty-and-the-beast romanticism is a common element of Besson’s cinema, one that wore thin long ago. Rasmussen is a dead ringer for Besson’s former wife and screen muse, Milla Jovovich, which just underlines the dearth of imagination.
Philip French at the Observer:
It’s a soggy affair, short on laughs and lacking chemistry between hero and heroine.
James Christopher at the Times:
The make-believe is painful. The plot is dire. The sentiment is awful. Whatâ€™s interesting is Bessonâ€™s aesthetic commitment to old-fashioned melodrama: cafÃ© arguments, cigarettes, empty streets and biscuit-tin views of the Seine.
Besson’s next project is "Arthur and the Minimoys," based on a children’s book he wrote himself â€” which has worked out blissfully well for others lately, and he told Xan Brooks in the Guardian a few weeks ago that he was done with film-making after that. Of course, he then exclaims "Maybe in two years I will do another movie after all." Indeed.