Luc Besson has always been a interesting filmmaker. Whether he’s dealing with evil black ooze in The Fifth Element, a hit woman in La Femme Nikita, or a 12 year old seeking revenge in Leon: The Professional, Besson has always fascinated me.
His film, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec has just dropped on DVD and while you probably blinked and missed its theatrical run back in 2010 everyone now has a chance to check out the film.
Louise Bourgoin stars as a newspaper reporter who is known mainly for those quirky Extraordinary Adventures the film title implies. Adèle is in Egypt trying to dig up a Pharaoh’s mummified body so she can take it back to Paris with her. Adèle is convinced that the mummy can be revived and then help cure her sister, who was in a accident rendering her unconscious.
Taking place in the 20th Century, one must go with the flow in The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. The scientist who was supposed to reanimate the good mummy, has instead decided to reanimate a dinosaur egg… There’s now a flying pterodactyl reeking havoc all over Paris and Adèle is being blamed for the deaths that he’s caused.
The police, led by the bumbling Inspector Caponi (Gilles Lellouche) have their sites set on Adèle! She must now try to outwit the Inspector, figure out what to do with the newly hatched dinosaur and still try and reanimate the mummy or her sister will forever be in this state.
Quirky and unique plots have always been a signature trademark of Luc Besson’s work, The Fifth Element didn’t exactly have a plot grounded in reality so when popping in a film like this, you know what you’re getting in to. It’s sad then that the film fails to deliver on such a fun premise. It’s over the top to be sure but not in a good way.
The main issue is that all the elements for a fun and unique ride are in place but nothing seems to gel into a cohesive whole. That’s not to say it’s not worth a spin but is does feel like a pale imitation of the novels that it’s based on.
The real highlight is the performance of Louise Bourgoin. She is delightful in the lead and I found myself rooting for her in her quest. She has a great mix of sassy, forthright, and go getter energy that lends itself well to the character of Adèle. Not only does she look the part but she nails it in her performance.
The bonus features are fairly standard, however the making of featurette is worth a spin if you find yourself clamoring for more. It’s 25 minutes long and features Luc Besson talking about his reasons for making the film, and some backstory on the source material. The author of the books is interviewed and it’s fun to see the original illustrations compared with what’s shown on screen.
There is a second featurette focusing on the music in the film that’s very brief and four deleted scenes. They all expand on the relationship with Adèle and her sister.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray!
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