Monday, 9 May 2011


Indianna Jones' really hot French grandma comes to town...

The problem with this age of information we live in is that before you actually go and see a film, you know more about it than the actual filmmakers (but then again, most big budget films have been assembled by a team of mentally challenged monkeys in a terrible bid to save money so the studios can computer enhance the size of Kiera Knightly’s tits). You’ve seen about 30 trailers, read interviews, seen the stars appear on chat shows, read reviews etc. etc. and the general publicity drive is something akin to the way Britney Spears is still trying to convince the world she’s a pop star.

"And after I release my new record, my new range of tampons will be hitting shelves!"

This is why I was glad to see this film without knowing a single thing about it, apart from the fact it was directed by Luc Besson - a man who gave us such fine action films as Léon and Nikita, as well as the hilariously terrible but completely unmissable The Fifth Element. So I figured I didn’t have much to lose as even if it was terrible, it was bound to get a good laugh along the way.

What I got was actually something completely unexpected. With a story that’s quite possibly the most batshit insane story for an adventure film, it makes Indianna Jones look like he was just raiding through that wardrobe in your parent’s bedroom you aren’t allowed to go near at Christmas time. It’s 1912 in France, and a renowned telepathic scientist has found a way to bring to life and control ancient beings, hatching a 130 million year old pterodactyl egg and flying it around the city. Adéle seeks the help of this scientist to bring to life an Egyptian pharaoh’s physician in order to revive her sister, who due to a freak accident has been turned into a breathing vegetable.

So this film seems like a bit of a mash up between Indianna Jones, The Mummy, but of course, this is French cinema, not some cheap Hollywood knock off piece of monkey faeces. It actually has a great sense of humour and will get you laughing at the sheer absurdity of the way it plays out whilst howling through the excitement of a great action film. Of course, being a French production there is nowhere near the sort of budget the Yanks get, but the average CGI only serves to add to the charm of the picture.

No Wolverine, bad CGI isn't THAT bad unless it's meant to distract you from a terrible story...

Charm: this film has it in buckets. It’s as though Luc Besson is sitting next to you, whispering sweet nothings in your ear to distract you from the fact that he’s about to slip a giant dose of LSD into your drink because the film certainly felt like one massive trip, constantly pulling some sort of ‘what the fuck?’ face whilst giggling like a psychotic child at the bizarre capers of bungling cops and the dark one liners Adéle constantly blasts whoever happens to be near her.

So what this film actually is, is FUN! Which seems to be a bit of a rarity nowadays. Not fun in the sense that you go and enjoy a film, but fun in the same way that your 8th birthday was, except there isn’t any cake involved.

I'm sorry, but you literally cannot mention cake on the internet now without this cropping up...

And this is what seems to be missing from the cinematic landscape as of late. We are in one of the worst economic situations in a long time, and all of the latest releases seem to be deadly serious and grounded in reality. Even the comedies are saccharine sweet with the big emotional kick. Very few films actually just take the plunge and go for an all out adventure that can just really lighten your mood. Besson has really done a fantastic job with this, making an unpredictable, charming, and all round bizarre film in what is set to be a series (the set up for the next potential film is fantastic). I really hope they make another one because it’s indispensable adventures like these that truly showcase the power of cinema in it’s ability to make you temporarily feel like you’re 8 years old again, which to be honest, us depressed and stressed out adults need every now and again.

This kid may be angry, but he really isn't giving a shit about it...

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