D’Artagnan’s Daughter: ‘Iacks substance‘


When original director and co- screenwriter Riccardo Freda fell ill, Bertrand Tavernier thought he’d do his old pal a favour, step into the breach and direct the film as well as produce it. In the end, it has proved something of a mixed blessing, for this twist on the Dumas story doesn’t have quite the pizzazz of the best swashbucklers and lacks the substance to be much of anything else.

Soon to be seen opposite Mel Gibson in the rollicking Braveheart, Sophie Marceau is the young nun moved to action when Claude Rich’s dastardly Duc de Crassac attacks her convent. Suspecting a plot against the future King Louis, the plucky mademoiselle heads for Paris to drag her old dad D’Artagnan (Philippe lloiret, rather predictably) out of retirement, get the

old musketeers together, and thus save the day for France.

Which, pretty much without a hitch, is what we get during the rest of the

; film, which treks the old boys’ bones ' across country, subjects them to various arduous tasks, and, if all else

fails to keep the viewers’ attention, whisks Ms Marceau’s top off for no apparent reason -- except to confirm that Tavernier pere is a bit of a dirty old man. Elsewhere, chief baddie Rich has a few mildly diverting flourishes of over-acting, but, despite his protestations that he went back and looked at lots of Hollywood costume pictures, Tavernier’s fencing

sequences don’t have the requisite

cut-and-thrust to register. In all

honesty, Dick Lester probably did it better. (Trevor Johnston)

D’Artagnan’s Daughter (15) (Bertrand Tavernier, Fr, 1994) Sophie Marceau,

Philippe Noiret, Claude Rich. 136

mins. From Fri 14: Glasgow Film Theatre, Edinburgh Filmhouse.


Shot as far back as 1992. before the French producers threw tip their arms in bemusement. Sarajevo-born madman/genius Emir Kusturica‘s nutball follow—up to the wiggy-but- | wonderful Time ()f'l'lie (iv/isles hits our screens after languishing on its British “ml different distributor‘s shelves for quite some Y9"): ‘1'”“9” time. Perhaps the filmmaker‘s l’alme l0" ““m‘lCC‘ D'Or at Cannes for his most recent offering. Unz/ergrmuul has something to do with it. fora cursory glance at this freewheeling. self-indulgent question . mark of a movie and you can certainly f “WNW” “'1” understand why it‘s taken quite so long l W"! liN 509' [0 COlnc out. l‘lle'.’ ClllCllli We‘re talking the ‘logic‘ of dreams , Hum (TWW here. so it‘s useless to attempt a plot 1 "l"f5"”" 0”" synopsis. Let's just say instead that it ' has Johnny Depp as a Big Apple fish inspector AWOL out West. where he runs across Caddy salesman uncle Jerry i

love triangle

Sounds simp haven't ment

(lots of fish).

' two-and-a-qt

Dir/tawny: Jt'

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: ‘panto-bland’

; Lewis and gets involved in a bizarre

. Dunaway and her weirdo daughter. yet. or the Eskimos. or Vincent (iallo‘s

one-man impression of Hitchcock's

.Vm‘l/l [iv :VUI'T/lH‘t’XL or indeed the fish

What it all means is anyone's guess

inspired. more often infuriating. and. ; most of all._iust plain impenetrable. At

; overlong and you may well find the

France/(1.81 1993) Johnny Depp. I’trvt'

l’r/ 2/: (i/(tsguw,l’i/m Theatre. Ift/i/I/mre/t C(Hllt’U.

with wacko Faye

le enough'.’ Well. we ioned the flying machine

viewers may well have t reactions to it. This one. found it sometimes

latter hours. it's also vastly ; *

idering. Stay awake for the re though: it's what-the-

l at its most jaw-dropping. r Johnston)

rm (/5) (lint/r KlLV/lll‘lttl.

rry Lewis. I35 Int/Is. l’mm


This strictly juvenile big screen version of the popular TV show has the Angel Grove teenagers employing teamwork and A Team-style violence to save their leader Zordon and the Earth from the terrible Ivan Doze (Paul Freeman). Unleashed by regular baddies lord Zed and Rita Repulsa, he zaps Zordan, Alpha 5 and the Rangers’ power source, forcing them to find a new one.

The regular faces reprise their roles from the Power Rangers TV show Karan Ashley, Johnny Yong Bosch, Steve Cardenas, Jason David Frank, Amy Jo Johnson and David Yost - although a generation of parents not familiar with the nuances of this particular marketing phenomenon might be left a bit in the dark as to the appeal of it all. Camp costumes and stylised fight scepes? Bring back Adam West.

Fans will enjoy watching the superheroes tumble and kickbox their way through oodles of odd monsters

Arizona Dream: ‘freewheeling. self-indulgent question mark of a movie'

while wearing bike jump-suits and helmets so you can’t see it’s not really them. They’re colour-coded too sort of Reservoir Fisher-Price. Plot, humour and characters are panto-bland enough to keep the kids happy, and dads will sit up for the bewitching Dulcea (Gabrielle Fitzpatrick) and her mercilessly brief cameo in Conan- esque bikini.

Director Bryan Spicer gets in lively action scenes and nimble, well-staged fights, but some of the backdrops and flying sequences are tacky. Shot in Australia, Power Rangers’ mixed-blood look recalls Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Indiana Jones, Terminator and, in the Wizard of Doze make-up, Legend. The showdown is pretty good as our heroes join Zords (animal-shaped robots they summon) to form one King Kong-sized droid against lvan’s Thenrstyle beastie. In the end, the Rangers send up all their Hong Kong Phooey mincing about, kneeing it firmly in the groin. I couldn’t find a subtext. (Gio MacDonald)

Mighty Morphin Pa wer Rangers: The Movie (PG) (Bryan Spicer, US, 1995/

Paul Freeman, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Johnny Young Bosch. 95mins. From Fri 21. General release.

i l


La Frontera: ‘symbolic


I,” l‘lU/Iit'l'tl is small on plot. A Santiago maths teacher is exiled for protesting against the 'disamiearance' of a colleague. llis politics prove lacklustre. however. and he winds up killing time with the bizarre and unhappy locals of a (‘hilean coastal village. 'l'hese aren’t characters to identify with. given their metaphorical potency. One guy dives into the ocean every day. seeking a great 'hole’ that will explain the tides. Absurd he may be. but In I’m/item makes such things lyrical and resonant.

The film's technical quality is unremarkable. and yet certain motifs aquire a symbolic significance and resonance. It is a mark of its subtlety that symbols are established not through straightforward repetition of images. but through an accumulation of visual and spoken suggestion. For example: a tidal wave. which struck several years in the past. is present in ruins and memories. and so is a reminder of nature's malevolence.

After the numbing mundanity of the opening sequences. this symbolism becomes all the more powerful. But when the film seeks to combine primitivist nature-worship with political purpose. it is only intermittently effective. When the ocean. both nurturer and destroyer. yields an effigy of Chile's ‘national liberators'. the scene works because it is platisible: the tidal wave has swept many things off the land. lint the political awakening of the teacher after a great storm is inmplicably abrupt. especially given that his single politically aware aquaintance is senile. The commitment does not tray el. and l.(l I’m/11w“ is more memorably about human endurance. tllannah l'l'lt‘sl /.u I'Il'tlllit‘l'tl 1/5) (Rica/tin [xi/Till”. ('ll/lt'. /‘)‘)41 I’tlf/‘I‘t'm ('rIIIII‘t'I'tls‘, (i/urui law. //5 Ill/II\. Salt /()/.lltlll l7; lat/Ht/mre/I I‘ll/n/muyt'. :l/wilttll.’t1/)/t'iI/I i/It’ 'lizr'ltt/i lit/«w lit/iii. pm (‘t/ {MW


The List 14-27 Jul 1995 27