The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc ★★ 1999 (R)
Besson's take on the legendary 15th-century French teen martyr Joan of Arc (Jovovich) leans heavily on gory battle scenes, stilted dialogue, and spectacle to tell her story. After seeing her sister murdered and raped (actually in that order) by English soldiers, Joan begins to hear heavenly voices that tell her that she must free her country and king from the invaders. After a visit with the Dauphin, several bloody battles ensue, and Joan is eventually captured and put on trial for sorcery and heresy. Awaiting her fate, she has conversations with a character that is actually billed as her Conscience (Hoffman), which brings up questions in her mind whether she was really divinely inspired or merely a cake du fruit. Jovovich's popeyed, semiintelligible performance helps this poor effort go up in flames. 148m/C VHS, DVD . Milla Jovovich, John Malkovich, Faye Dunaway, Dustin Hoffman, Pascal Greggory, Vincent Cassel, Tcheky Karyo, Richard Ridings, Desmond Harrington; D: Luc Besson; W: Luc Besson, Andrew Birkin; C: Thierry Arbogast; M: Eric Serra.