That Besson previously assisted on a couple of features by the anarcho-eccentric Claude Faraldo is significant: the grim, wordless, post-holocaust humour of The Last Battle bears more than a passing resemblance to the latter's devastating Themroc. Unlike most Mad Max spin-offs, this is much more than a transplanted Western, with a hero who's as often required to be tender as he is ferocious. The result is a neat, wry, pocket-size adventure with several magic moments such as a rain-storm of fresh fish, and a touching scene where two of the most human characters manage to exchange a fragment or two of speech with the aid of a gas inhaler. The monochrome photography enhances a bare-bones atmosphere, and the small cast is splendid. A welcome addition to the post-holocaust barbarism boom.