Le Dernier Combat (The Last Battle) (The Last Combat) (1983) - Rotten Tomatoes

Le Dernier Combat (The Last Battle) (The Last Combat) (1983)

Le Dernier Combat (The Last Battle) (The Last Combat)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Le Dernier Combat (The Last Battle) (The Last Combat) Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Unusual because it has no spoken dialogue, Dernier Combat effectively chronicles the fate of a handful of people after a worldwide disaster has left the planet desolate and bleak and the people physically unable to speak. A young man (Pierre Jolivet) longs for female companionship and so he puts together a serviceable plane and flies to the remains of a city where survivors live in the ruined hulks of cars -- or wherever they can. The problem is that there are very few women to be found here as well. After the young man enters the city, he comes across an older doctor who has returned to his psychiatric clinic and is barricaded there, defending the clinic against the attacks of a violent barbarian intent on further destruction. This murderous aggressor is not only after the doctor but also a women who is hiding in the clinic -- and when the young man joins up with the doctor and sees the woman, his future takes a new course. Le Dernier Combat (also known as The Last Battle) was the first feature-length film by a 24-year-old Luc Besson (The Big Blue, La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element). The film won two major prizes at the 1983 Avoriaz Science Fiction Film Festival, and collected more than 18 prizes at other international festivals -- though it was overlooked by France's Caesars and the U.S. Academy Awards. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovimore
Rating: R
Genre: Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
In Theaters:


Fritz Wepper
as The Capt.
Jean Reno
as The Brute
Maurice Lamy
as The Dwarf
Christiane Kruger
as Captain's Concubine
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Le Dernier Combat (The Last Battle) (The Last Combat)

Critic Reviews for Le Dernier Combat (The Last Battle) (The Last Combat)

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Moments of wry whimsy maintain interest, as do frequent flashes of Besson's knack for a striking image.

Full Review… | November 30, 2010
SFX Magazine

There are a great many touches of humanity in Besson's wasteland and the film is all the more rewarding for it.

Full Review… | April 7, 2005

The widescreen, black and white cinematography is a joy to watch, and Besson is nothing if not an efficient and skilled director.

Full Review… | April 20, 2003
Goatdog's Movies

Audience Reviews for Le Dernier Combat (The Last Battle) (The Last Combat)

Luc Besson's first work is also his first foray in science fiction, a genre to which he will return fourteen years later with "the Fifth Element" (1997). Even if this film was strongly influenced by Hollywood cinema, it is still highly enjoyable. Back in 1983, "le Dernier Combat" reveals Besson's own approach of science fiction. He takes back a threadbare topic and his efforts are discernible to make a stylish work. Shot in widescreen and black and white, a disaster has destroyed virtually all the population from earth and we will never know what was this disaster and why men can't talk any more. Some barbarian hordes were formed. In parallel, a man (Pierre Jolivet) lives on his own and arrives in an unrecognizable Paris where he is received by a doctor (Jean Bouise).

There are no words in Besson's work. The characters' actions and the progression of the events go through looks and gestures. Although the starting point and the backdrop are unnerving, the film has never the look of a despondent one. It seems that the man and the doctor try to reproduce gestures and actions linked to mankind before the disaster. The film opens with the man having sex with an inflatable doll. Later, the doctor tries to make him speak through a machine and he is a painter in his spare time. It's all the more intriguing as these paintings seem to come from the prehistoric times. Following this reasoning, one could argue that the bearded giant (Jean Reno) embodies evil and a threat to the efforts deployed by the man and the doctor to regain what finally made a human being. Ditto for the gang of baddies at the beginning of the film.

The pessimistic whiff that such a film could convey isn't really at the fore and gives way to a glimmer of hope. Personally, the film could have gained with no music at all, except the one the man can hear with his cassette recorder. Luc Besson was to make better and still entrancing films like this one, he also boosted Pierre Jolivet's career as a director who will leave a patchy work behind him in the future: "Force Majeure" (1989), "Simple Mortel" (1991), "ma Petite Entreprise" (1999) or "Filles Uniques" (2003).

Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

Very interesting debut from Besson.

Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer

The widescreen, black and white cinematography is a joy to watch, and Besson is nothing if not an efficient and skilled director.

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