A Town Called Panic [panique Au Village]

"Good"

A Town Called Panic [panique Au Village] Review


Extremely silly and often very funny too, this quirky stop-animated romp might have been better as a half-hour short, because there's not really much to it.

But it does manage to keep us chuckling with a continual stream of throwaway gags.

Cowboy and Indian (Aubier and Ellison) are like bickering kids in the home they share with Horse (Patar). Their neighbours Steven and Janine (Poelvoorde and Dumont) are highly strung but loyal friends, and they get rather annoyed when Cowboy and Indian accidentally order 50 million bricks to build a barbecue for Horse's birthday. Then the house walls start disappearing, and the culprit seems to be a team of underwater thieves. So Cowboy, Indian and Horse head off to stop them, ending up at one point inside a gigantic mechanical penguin on the North Pole.

The plot makes little real sense, but then it doesn't try to. The film has a freewheeling structure that makes it feel like it was created by 10-year-olds, as it meanders from one fantastical scene to another. And at the centre, Cowboy and Indian are like a Belgian Beavis and Butt-head, cracking goofy jokes as they do one stupid thing after another. There's also a romantic subplot as Horse tries to woo the sexy red-head music teacher Mme Longree (Balibar).

What makes this colourful film watchable is its deranged sense of humour and deliberately ridiculous animation. These are tiny plastic toys brought to life with inventive touches that are simple and effective. And the voice cast adds plenty of sharp personality. There isn't anything to it, really - not a speck of subtext or irony. It's just a zany romp featuring a bunch of boneheads. But it is absurdly funny.

It's also somewhat inconsistent, which is why it would have made a better short, because the humour could have been more finely focussed. As is, the film is all over the place, then a crazed South Park style of comedy finds a big laugh in the most unexpected place. It's also so insanely inventive that we can't help but be amused all the way through it.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Animation

Production compaines: La Parti Production, Made in Productions, Beast Productions, Gebeka Films, Les Films du GrognonRTBF, Les films du grognon, RTBF

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar

Producer: Philippe Kauffmann,

Starring: as Steven (Voice), as Madame Longrée, Nicolas Buysse as Mouton, Jean-Paul, François De Brigode as Journaliste sportif, Véronique Dumont as Janine, Bruce Ellison as Indien, Christine Grulois as Vache, Étudiante, Frédéric Jannin as Gendarme, Gérard, Livreur de briques, Christelle Mahy as Poule, Eric Muller as Rocky Gaufres, Étudiant chorale 1, François Neyken as Cochon, Vincent Patar as Cheval, Maman Atlante, Pipou as Rire de Michel, Franco Piscopo as Ours, David Ricci as Âne, Michel, Ben Tesseur as Scientifique 1, Alexandre von Sivers as Scientifique 2, Stéphane Aubier as Cowboy, Max Briquenet, Mr Ernotte (Voice), Bouli Lanners as Facteur, Simon, Vache


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Amy Movie Review

Amy Movie Review

As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to...

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

This declining franchise really needed a jolt to the head, but the producers disappointingly opt...

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and...

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks...

Advertisement
Everly Movie Review

Everly Movie Review

A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...

Slow West Movie Review

Slow West Movie Review

First-time feature filmmaker John Maclean takes a strikingly original approach to the Western, creating a...

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Despite this being a film about Sherlock Holmes, the fact that it's not much of...

Entourage Movie Review

Entourage Movie Review

Both shameless and shamelessly entertaining, this relentlessly boyish movie carries on exactly as the TV...

Advertisement