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Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, The


Stars: Louise Bourgoin, Mathieu Amalric, Gilles Lellouche, Jean-Paul Rouve, Jacky Nercessian, Philippe Nahon, Frederique Bel, Laure de Clermont-Tonnere.

Director: Luc Besson

Unless they come up with something like ‘Indiana Jones and the Zimmer Frame of Gold’ or decide on a ‘Son of Indie’ show, my guess is the intrepid explorer’s screen series is finally over.

Which is good news for Luc Besson. The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec, based on a comic book, offers a heroine who is as smart and resourceful as Jones but half his age and attractive to boot, and played to perfection by Bourgoin. She succeeds splendidly by taking her character of an intrepid young reporter seriously and infusing her characterisation with a knowing wit as she tangles with mummies and assorted villains and then seeks someone to bring to life the mummy who can bring her sister out of a coma. Meanwhile, 1911 Paris is being terrorised by the giant pterodactyl that has hatched out from a museum exhibit…

The storyline is delightful and daft and inhabited by cartoonish characters like inept detective Lellouche, shoot-at-anything hunter Rouve and seriously weird archaeologist Almaric, but Besson sensibly focuses on his leading lady who gives a performance of charm and conviction against the obvious odds of a story driven by surreal events and excellent special effects. The result is fast, funny and entertaining.

Alan Frank

France 2010. UK Distributor: Optimum Releasing. Colour.
107 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 22 Apr 2011