Angel-A

Leg men everywhere, rejoice. There's nothing like seeing Rie Rasmussen, a Danish model and actress, in a little black dress, towering heels and stems that go on for miles to distract you from all that's wrong with this movie and, for that matter, the world.

 

But critical duty calls. And writer-director Luc Besson, who had my vote for films as diverse as The Fifth Element, The Professional and — speaking of legs — La Femme Nikita, drops the ball this time. Angel-A never finds the heart in a promising It's a Wonderful Life premise.

André, a small-time hood played by Jamel Debbouze, owes debts all over Paris. But when he rescues bombshell Angela (Rasmussen) from a suicidal leap into the Seine, she becomes his guardian angel with all the goo factor that implies, although she does use sex as a weapon.

at nearly saves the movie, besides the Rasmussen eye candy, is Paris itself, shot in shimmering black-and-white by the gifted Thierry Arbogast. Talk is cheap here, and often inane, but as a silent film, Angel-A could have been magic.

From The Archives Issue 295: July 12, 1979