Sunday, 7 August 2011

dvd review: the adventures of adele blanc-sec

Sold as a Romancing the Stone-style action-adventure pastiche on its cinematic release, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec is closer in tone to its compatriot Asterisk films: silly and slapdash, with charm papering over the numerous cracks. The plot’s bewildering ingredients include an escaped Pterodactyl causing havoc in Paris; an elderly physician with miraculous powers; and walking, talking Egyptian mummies with mysterious healing abilities. Somewhere in the middle is the titular heroine (played with the perfect level of sanguine sass by Louise Bourgoin), who conducts disguise-based prison breaks and Pyramid tomb raiding whilst evading police and courters. Director Luc Besson fluffs both pacing and comprehensibility, but the result is so gleefully ludicrous it transcends its shortcomings: The plot is episodic, but all the better to emulate the serials on which it draws inspiration; the effects are ropey, but enhance its light-hearted appeal; and the humour broad, but well played by its game cast. Not extraordinary, then, but worth the time.

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