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Published on April 29th, 2011 | by Yellow Magpie

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The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec Film Review

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Director: Luc Besson.
Cast: Louise Bourgoin, Nicolas Giraud, and Gilles Lellouche.

The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec brings fantasy and story-telling back to the cinema.

Adele Blanc-Sec (Louise Bourgoin) In The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec

It is 1917 and something very unusual is happening in Paris. A pterodactyl has being brought back to life and is terrorising the streets. Eventually the police find out and there is a full-scale hunt to kill the reptile.

Adele is a fun and frolicking romp. A bright and breezy film with a smart and sexy leading lady and a good supporting cast.

The story centres on Adele, an adventure  novelist, who is determined to find a cure for her sister who following an accident is left in a state of paralysis. Adele travels to Egypt in order to bring the mummified remains of a doctor back to Paris.

Le professeur Ménard (Phillippe Nahan) In The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec 2

She believes the mummified doctor will have a cure to enable  her sister recover. However, she first has get the mummy to a scientist who has found a an esoteric means of bringing things back to life.

‘An exciting actress, she is owns the screen and adds greatly to the enjoyment of this film.’

While in Egypt Adele has some hair raising adventures and for a moment the viewer might well believe they are watching an episode of Indiana Jones.

However, feisty Adele soon has all her enemies thwarted and she is on her way back to Paris with her dead treasure.

Adele played by Louise Bourgoin is strong-willed, intelligent and determined to have her own way. Bourgoin is ideally cast and makes every scene interesting to watch. She also manages to instil vulnerability into her heroine with minimal effort. An exciting actress, she is owns the screen and adds greatly to the enjoyment of this film.

Andrej Zborowski (Nicholas Giraud), Adele Blanc-Sec (Louise Bourgoin) And Le professeur Menard (Phillippe Nahan)In The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec

While the Adele Blanc Sec is a visual treat it does have problems – mainly those of originality. A testament that the pastiche is alive and well, it borrows heavily from the internationally acclaimed Amelie as well as the popular Indiana Jones franchise. The wordy narration at the beginning of Adele Blanc-Sec is almost identical in content and delivery to Amelie.

‘when it occasionally strays away from this track and takes a less than unique stance, it suffers badly.’

While this criticism shouldn’t be taken to heart – it is part of a worrying trend in which originality is coming secondary to self-knowing references. This is also typified by Adele Blanc-Sec’s knowing nods to France’s future. While this does bring wry chuckles the first time – by the second time and third time it starts to grate.

When the film stays on its quirky original path – it flows and is marvellously entertaining. However, when it occasionally strays away from this track and takes a less than unique stance, it suffers badly.

Inspecteur Albert Caponi (Gilles Lellouche) In The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec

‘The incompetence of these two male groups provides some great comic moments.’

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Adele Blanc-Sec is the manner in which it pokes fun at the male authority figures. This is particularly true of the politicians and the police. The incompetence of these two male groups provides some great comic moments. With the star being the award-laden, but idiotic, Inspecteur Albert Caponi who seems more interested in food than solving the case of the murderous pterodactyl.

An entertaining fantasy, The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec is well worth watching.


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