Adele Blanc-Sec ***

Running time: 107 mins  Certificate: 12A

Synopsis: An intrepid young reporter, Adèle Blanc-Sec (Bourgoin) must face many obstacles including Egyptian mummies and a a pterodactyl who is terrorising Paris in her quest to find a cure for her severely ill sister.


Sadly ‘Les Aventures Extraordianaires d’ Adele Blanc Sec’ is not quite a return to the heady days of the 80’s and early 90’s when every Luc Besson film was something to look forward to, but it is easily his best film since ‘Leon’ (1994). An adaptation of a French comic book by Jacques Tardi, ‘Adele Blanc Sec’ mixes Lara Croft style adventures with slapstick comedy and period drama.


It is 1911 and Adele (Louise Bourgoin) is the spirited heroine on a quest to save her beloved sister whom she mortally wounded in a tennis match (seriously). To accomplish this she has to grave rob the tomb of Ramses II and reanimate the mummified corpse of the Pharaoh’s personal physician. On her trail is Dieuleveult, played by Mathieu Amalric who is given so little screen time you wonder why he agreed to do the film. Especially as his prosthetic make up makes him appear uncannily like Roman Polanski.


Like all Besson movies ‘Adele Blanc Sec’ looks great. Olivier Beriot’s costume design and Hugues Tissandier’s production design all capture the look and style of the comic. There is a twee ‘Amelie’ style voiceover that grates during the opening sequences. It seems very lazy for a visually accomplished director like Besson to resort to telling the audience rather than showing them what is going on. 


‘Adele Blanc Sec’ whizzes along nicely without ever coming close to being an extraordinary adventure. It does however have a pterodactyl and a delightfully urbane Egyptian Mummy. You can’t lose with a combination like that.


Reviewed by Kevin Sturton

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