Micmacs (2010)

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When a video store clerk whose father was killed by a landmine is accidentally shot in the head, he sets about revenging himself upon the weapons manufacturers whom he holds responsible.

There’s a lot to admire about French culture; the cuisine, the literature, the fashion, the art. Their comedy however has been stuck in a public convenience since the 1920’s. Unfortunately Jeunet’s new film is very much in this tradition, which means Micmacs rather than being a sophisticated heist-based exercise in wit in the mould of Ocean’s Eleven or The Sting, it’s more like a Road Runner cartoon acted out by a troupe of mimes. The overall feel of the film reminded me a lot of Life Is Beautiful, which was a horribly misjudged marriage of juvenile humour and commentary on war and death. Jeunet’s trademark visual invention although still evident takes a backseat to Vaudevillian gurning and pratfalls, and even a potentially clever conclusion is ruined because of his over-used and rather patronising “here’s-what’s-happening-in-their-heads-because-the-audience-are-clearly-far-too-stupid-to-work-it-out” thought bubble device.

Micmacs is clearly still a visually accomplished film by a skilled film maker, but it failed miserably to entertain me because it’s about as funny as, well, French comedy.

3.5/10

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