# Similar Movies Like Subway
Subway 1985
About: Fred, a raffish secure blower, takes refuge in the Paris Metro after being chased by the henchmen of a shady businessman from whom he has just stolen some documents. While hiding out in the back rooms and conduits of the Metro, Fred encounters a subterranean society of eccentric characters and petty criminals. Despite being pursued by the henchmen, Fred finds the time to flirt with Héléna, blow a safe, rob a train, evade the hapless Metro police, and begin a rock band
Released: 06 Nov 1985 Director: Luc Besson Writers: Luc Besson (dialogue), Luc Besson (scenario), Pierre Jolivet (scenario), Alain Le Henry (scenario), Marc Perrier (dialogue), Marc Perrier (scenario), Sophie Schmit (scenario) Actors: Isabelle Adjani, Christopher Lambert, Richard Bohringer, Michel Galabru Genres: Thriller
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Subway Reviews:

At the time, a large box-office hit in its native France - and as a effect of the rising popularity of lead actors Christopher Lambert and Isabelle Adjani, something of a cult movie in the UK - Subway (1985) was seen as a companion piece to Jean Jacques Beineix's earlier art-house classic, Diva (1981). Together, these two movies can be seen as both the development and the continuation of the concerns and preoccupations of the then-newly dubbed "cinema du look" movement; a brief cinematic resurgence in French cinema that saw a younger generation of filmmakers looking back to the days of Godard, Truffaut and the Nouvelle Vague, and combining that sense of playful experimentation with elements of early 80's pop culture. It would be the movie that finally introduced director Luc Besson to a wider commercial audience outside of the confines of the French art-house, and really - when looked at as part of the natural progression of his career - seems light years away from his first film, the wordless science fiction parable, Le Dernier Combat/The Last War (1983).The characteristics of the cinema du look movement involved preoccupations with doomed love and alienated Parisian youth, applied to a plot that was both cool and iconic. This can be seen quite clearly in Subway, with its mixture of movie noir conventions, pop music, subterranean youth-culture, action and broad attempts at humour. As others have previously noted, the movie and the style that it employs are very much of their time; presenting a very 80's take on listless youth replete with a central hero that looks like Sting, a synthesiser massive soundtrack that manages to work-in two specially composted Fresh Wave pop songs, some shocking fashion choices (though most of these are admittedly back in vogue) and that general unique, indescribable feeling that you often receive from many French movies from this era; in particular Buffet Froid (1981), One Deadly Summer (1983), The Moon in the Gutter (1983), First Name: Carmen (1983) Hail Mary (1985), Betty Blue (1986), Mauvais Sang (1986), Jean de Florette/Manon des Sources (1986) and Besson's own subsequent picture, Le Grand Bleu (1988). Subway doesn't necessarily have much in common with these particular movies in terms of style or content, but it does have a related languid feeling, bizarre eclecticism or eccentricity, and an atmosphere that feels very much real to the country and the time it was produced.Overall, the movie should be seen by many viewers as something worryingly lightweight; with the knockabout plot, colorful caricatures and continual bombardment of cinematic style perhaps being seen as a smokescreen to the thin plot and ironic characterisations. Like Le Dernier Combat, the ultimate trouble with the movie is that it can't quite decide whether or not it wants to be an action movie or art film; with the combination of the two very various styles never quite gelling in excellent harmony. The opening vehicle chase and initial descent into the bowels of this subterranean underworld hidden deep beneath the Parisian Metro system seem to suggests that the movie will be all high-style and high-energy. Subsequent scenes however take a step back, giving us some cool, neo-noir like interaction between Lambert's laconic safe-cracker and Adjani's bored trophy wife, while the opposing forces of police and gangsters start closing in around them. It is the type of movie that will definitely appeal to a certain type of viewer, perhaps a more mature audience who are launch minded to cult European art cinema, or perhaps maybe a dedicated audience interested in seeing how the director of such highly acclaimed action thrillers, such Nikita (1991) or Leon/The Professional (1994), started out.After first seeing the movie a several years ago I wrote "This has no heart. It is an experiment in cinematic formalism; obsessed with technicality but also consumed by the self-indulgence", which to some extent still stands, but I think, with repeated viewings, I've come to play the movie and see more of an allure and attraction to the characters of Fred and Héléna, who, quite clearly, struggle throughout to maintain face and create the right decisions in a globe that neither of them truly understands. As a result, it might just be the type of movie that takes a several viewings to truly captivate the audience, especially after drawing us in with that aforementioned vehicle chase (which nods to Claude Lelouch's iconic 1974 short movie C'était un rendez-vous, whilst simultaneously prefiguring much of the Besson-produced movie series, Taxi). Subway clearly isn't a masterpiece. Like his first film, Le Dernier Combat, and the newest Angel-A (2005), it shows Besson at his most inventive and experimental, sampling from a tons of various categories and producing something that is chic and stylish, without ever being truly captivating. It is however an interesting movie and one that will no doubt appeal to fanatics of some of the movies aforementioned, chiefly Diva, Buffet Froid and Mauvais Sang, as well as some of Besson's own lesser-known works.


This is a pure exercise in style from the Luc Besson school of movie making. A handsome gangster joins ranks with a school of dropouts who populate the Parisian subway system, hounded (but never phazed) by transportation police. The problem is that head honcho Fred has fallen in love with the cute but stroppy wife of one of his BCBG victims, and strife ensues below the roads of gay Paree.Christopher Lambert is nice as the ellegant rebel gangster with a heart, Fred; Isabelle Adjani is cute but, as always, deeply annoying -- she just exudes arrogance from the bottom of her dainty tiny heart. On the sidelines we see an impossibly young Jean-Hugues Anglade, Jean Reno and Jean-Pierre Bacri. I now didn't recognise Reno, that's how young and unknown he is here.If you have a deeper interest in cinema, this is a straight ten. It's nice how Besson brings together nice style, action, fun, pace, acting, dialogue and nice characters. Unlike most directors who movie in the province and test to create it look like Paris, Besson movies in Paris but makes it look like Metropolis.Unfortunately, there isn't much of a plot and zilch suspense. The movie begins with a heated heart-to-heart between Fred and cute Héléna, and since we are aware that their affair can't end but unhappily (albeit in an incredibly chic way), the suspense is exactly zero. So if you just wish entertainment, you could better pick one of Besson's soon movies.


It would be hard to describe "Subway." Fortunately, I threw it into the DVD user knowing only who directed it, who starred in it, and that it was set in the Paris Metro. Maybe that was a plus for me, since I had no concept where the serpentine, if occasionally silly, plot was going. Suffice it to tell that Christophe Lambert is chased into the Paris Metro, clutching some files that Isabelle Adjani is desperate to receive her hands on. Of course, there's a romance with them, and a number of helping characters--a roller skating purse snatcher, a smart cop, a dumb cop, a philosophical flower vendor, etc. Like many Luc Besson films, this one is over the top from the get-go, a crazy ride to nowhere, surreal, perhaps, but a bit obtuse at times with its eye-rolling symbolism. But it's fun, especially the excessive 80s look of the costumes and hairstyles, and Eric Serra's synth-and-bass-heavy soundtrack. Between Lambert and Adjani, I have to reserve all the praise for the lady, who deliciously scores with magnificent comic timing.



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