DVD Review: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

Directed by Luc Besson
Starring Louise Bourgoin, Mathieu Amalric & Gilles Lellouche

Luc Besson is a mystery of a director, his films range from the insane (The Fifth Element) to the brilliant (Léon). His latest effort here is an adaptation of a 70s comic book which OI have not read, so forgive me if I misunderstood a few things. The film follows Adèle Blanc-Sec (Bourgoin), a sort of Lara Croft style journalist who is searching for a way to bring her sister out of a comatose state. On her adventure she encounters pyramids, a pterodactyl, mummies and various other things that are unnatural to the human world.

This film is balls to walls crazy, it is a zany adventure film that never takes a second to rest. Not that it doesn’t have its charm, the lead performance from Bourgoin is wonderful, she is a real talent who carries the film effortlessly and a small villainous role from Mathieu Amalric only makes us wish he was in the film more. The only problem with Bourgoin’s performance is that whenever she is off screen, the film slows down considerably as none of the other side characters are anywhere near as fun or charismatic as hers. The film may be a little too over the top for its own good, after a while the nonchalant attitude that characters took to the events around them became frustrating and the film became incredibly… for lack of a better word, French.

There is humour and ingenuity to be found throughout the movie, it’s clever, polished and there are some moments that will be extremely memorable but sadly the tone just never sits well, it’s menagerie of crazy characters whiz by us so fast that we barely get time to care about what is going on. It’s a gorgeous looking film, capturing Paris at the turn of the century beautifully and its more inspired moments (including a wonderful scene in a pyramid) will look absolutely stunning on Blu Ray. A wonderful performance from its lead actress carries it far but eventually it falls over due to poor special effects and the insanity that is its script.

3/5

Extras

The DVD comes with limited extras, the highlight being a relatively in depth Making of which lasts for around 30 mins and offers an interesting watch. There are some rather insightful interviews from Besson and Bourgoin which whilst fun to watch, feel rather dull and tired, the Cinemoi interview with Besson included on the disc is far more fun. The behind the music featurette (titled In The Studio) is fine but is more flash than actual information and the features are capped with a trailer. No bad features, but leaves you wanting more (which you can probably find when the film is released in wider territories or perhaps on the French version of the disc).

2/5

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec is available on DVD & Blu Ray from 15/08/2011

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