Monday, January 17, 2011


Initially Published Here

The films of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet are an acquired taste. Actually, that’s wrong: “acquired taste” implies that with time their charms are likely to grow on you. For this particular critic, that moment has never happened and probably never will. Perhaps “not for everyone” is a more apt description. Stuffed to the brim with whimsy and wonder regardless of the subject matter, his films are as visually distinct and conceptually idiosyncratic as any filmmaker working today.

is his latest delivery system for Rube-Goldberg-inspired mayhem. Bazil (Dany Boon) loses his father to a landmine and years later finds himself with a bullet lodged precariously in his skull. He takes up with a group of lovable misfits (each with their own distinctly loony skill) who help him exact revenge on the weapons manufacturers responsible for both incidents. Perhaps there is a bigger point to be made regarding arms dealing and the futility of violence, but I suspect that isn’t really what’s on Jeunet’s mind. Levers are turned, buttons are pushed, traps are sprung and in the end you either find it all remarkably clever or ... you simply don’t.

This Blu-ray edition does justice to some truly stunning photography (despite working with a new DP, Micmas has the same burnished copper and lush green look of most of Jeunet’s films) and the obligatory “Making-Of” featurette is certainly more interesting than most as long as you don’t mind the magician revealing some of his secrets.

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