“The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec” [or “The ‘Besson’ Element”]

The Event: Preview
Name: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

(Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adele Blanc-Sec)

Bonus: Q&A with Luc BessonVenue: British Film Institute (BFI)


This was another film being previewed and shown as part of the “Rendez-vous with French Cinema 2011” season, but this was unknown to me as I went in to savour this offering.

Introduced by actor, David Thewlis this latest (& you could say, forthcoming – in the UK at least) movie by Luc Besson started on a grand scale, as do so many of his pictures.

I’d heard little about this film but I did know from what snippets I must have read, & perhaps seen that it was a fantasy film which included all sorts – a dinosaur or two, mummies &/or zombies and set in another time.


All the latter ‘sorts’ were introduced to us, the preview audience very early in the film but we still were unaware where this adventure would take us, nor indeed how such variants would perhaps all come together to tell the story…but surely they had, didn’t they?


As always, I don’t want to give away the plot or story but I will say this. The first scenes included a “The-Fifth-Element-meets-Indiana-Jones” set-piece, in fact more Indiana Jones than the other…and this put me off a little. The reason? I’m probably one of the few males in the world for whom the Indy films do not ‘do it for me’. Strange? No. I-Am-Me. If the film had continued in the style of Indy I would have thought that it seriously lacked originality (despite this film being based on comic books). But…the film did not continue in such a way.

Make no mistake, this is much a comedy as it is a fantasy movie. To name but one aspect, we are introduced to the police early on in the film – and from there-in throughout – and its fair to say that these criminal-chasers make Chief Wiggum, from The Simpsons look over-observant and intelligent!

Part of this movie involves Cairo and the heavy involvement and interest in ancient mummies. And this, what with the overall humour of the film, prompted me to concoct this ending to a particular scene (you may *sigh* after reading it)…:

Two sisters are reconciled in quite a dramatic way and in such a way which I was SURE – and if not, itching to put it in the script myself given half the chance – was to end in one of these girls saying, as they sighed with relief…”I want my mummy’… There, you can sigh now! This pun would make more sense upon seeing the movie and you know that I would have elaborated further but as always I do not want to spoil the cinematic story.


Lastly, I deliberately left this fact until the end of my review. This picture is in French, which is fine by me [this same week alone I have seen another French film, a Korean movie and English language ones] but I can not say that I’ve always been ‘into’ foreign language films. Luc Besson’s latest movie could prove vital to the cinema-going public. Not only could this film picture have mass appeal due to it being a comic-book adaptation AND fun-for-all-the-family fantasy film, I also wonder . . . Would it bring ‘reading subtitles’ to a whole new audience? I sincerely hope it does. I don’t mean that necessarily in some cultural-encouragement way but more so in the route to hinting at ‘Joe Public’ that there is not just Hollywood and in fact many, many better films out there!

…But just as Adèle Blanc-Sec does, I’m keen for ‘the world’ to experience ‘the world’!

The Q & A (could’ve easily stood for Quirky & Amiable).

As these pictures display – although a little unclear – Luc Besson is a sweet, funny & down-to-earth guy. His responses to audience questions were witty and very English. . . for a true Frenchman.

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