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Mammuth

3/10

Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Yolande Moreau, Isabelle Adjani, Anna Mouglalis, Miss Ming, Albert Delphy

Director: Benoit Delépine, Gustave Kervern

A ramshackle, grungy French road movie in which almost all the characters are a jack or two short of a full deck. Central to these is slobby Serge (Depardieu) who, newly retired from his pork processing plant (his colleagues buy him a 2000 piece jigsaw) and useless at anything around the house - amusingly so in the case of a door repair -- is driven by his wife (Moreau) to jump on his ancient motorbike - the Mammuth of the title - and set off in search of 'affidavits' from previous jobs that may provide much-needed help in the pension stakes.

This motorcycle odyssey not unexpectedly turns into a journey into Serge's own past. The kind of man who rips out a supermarket trolley without paying his euro, and leaves it jammed between two cars, Serge, with hair as long as Rapunzel's and twice as tangled, is a dirty, smelly, fat old man who repels most of the people he encounters, save those who want to take him to the cleaners (and we're not talking hygiene here).

Shot sometimes with a dizzyingly handheld camera, and in weird eye-hurting colour, Mammuth, despite some funny moments, resembles more a home movie than a professional film. Even Depardieu fans will be glad when it's over, while a masturbation scene is more disgusting than funny, and the English subtitles render some dodgy translations of the French dialogue to say the least.

David Quinlan

France 2010. UK Distributor: Axiom. Colour by Cinadia.
92 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 31 May 2011