The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Movie Review
In 1911 Paris, Adele (Bourgoin) is a novelist who travels the world in search of adventures to write about. Her latest quest takes her to Egypt, where she uncovers a Pharaoh's tomb and sneaks off with his physician's mummy, who she plans to resurrect with help from her mad-scientist friend Esperandieu (Nercessian), all in an attempt to cure her badly injured twin sister (de Clermont). But the doctor's experimentation has brought to life a hatchling pterodactyl, which is now menacing Paris. Apparently surrounded by incompetents, Adele will have to fix everything herself.
This is a busy, energetic film populated by a huge number of colourfully wacky characters, most of whom are caught in Adele's chaotic wake. A blustering, lazy cop (Lellouch) is on the case, hiring a trigger-happy big-game hunter (Rouve) to catch the pterodactyl. Adele's arch-nemesis (an unrecognisable Amalric) doggedly torments her. And a charming young scientist (Giraud) follows Adele like a lovelorn puppy dog. But Adele is so self-assured that she ignores everyone, moving like a tornado with blind focus on her task.
Besson seems a little too enthusiastic about the story's supernatural elements, which are actually the least interesting things on screen. But at least he plays it all for laughs, rather than trying to scare us or impress us with the effects work, which is generally solid. He also wedges in a very funny look at government bureaucracy, as everyone from the President down passes the buck on dealing with this crisis.
The cast is terrific, bringing plenty of sassy attitude to each hilarious role.
Everyone is so impulsive that the plot seems completely out of control from the start, and things get increasingly silly as it continues, with some genuinely ridiculous twists and turns along the way. Adele's repeated cry "Into my arms!" usually results in something both corny and amazing. Yes, it's hugely imaginative, but it also feels somewhat made up as it goes along.