Blu-Ray Review: Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s ‘Micmacs’ Smothers Substance in Style

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CHICAGO – Can a movie be too creative? Jean-Pierre Jeunet tests this theory with his ridiculously over-the-top “Micmacs,” a clever film that is almost too polished and refined to be effective. Of course, it looks great on Blu-ray but this giant Jeunet fan can’t help but think his style has finally trumped his substance.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0

As much fun as it can be, there are elements of “Micmacs” that simply don’t work. But would we feel the same way if it were a debut? Is it disappointing only in light of “Amelie,” “Delicatessen,” and “The City of Lost Children”? Film doesn’t exist in a vacuum and it’s impossible to ignore the fact that while this film is masterfully-designed, it’s lesser compared to its auteur’s previous works. Still, lesser Jeunet is still pretty quality in entertainment, especially in HD.

Micmacs will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14th, 2010
Micmacs will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14th, 2010
Photo credit: Sony

The excellent Dany Boon (“Joyeux Noel”) stars in “Micmacs” as Bazil, a video store clerk whose father was blown up by a land mine and who now lives every day with a bullet in his brain that could kill him any minute. With a ticking time bomb in his head, Bazil is homeless, unemployed, and broke.

Micmacs will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14th, 2010
Micmacs will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 14th, 2010
Photo credit: Sony

Bazil randomly — in a classic Jeunet twist-of-fate plot turn — stumbles upon the two weapons manufacturers (Nicolas Marie & Andre Dussolier) who forever changed his life by taking his father and taking part of his brain. At the same time, he joins forces with a group of misfits and the crew of freaks set upon a complex, Rube Goldberg-esque revenge scheme.

“Bazil’s 8” includes Jeunet regular Dominique Pinon as a human cannonball named Fracasse, a gawky girl with the mind of an adding machine named Calculator (Marie-Julie Baup), a philosophical gent named Remington (Omar Sy), a tiny strong man (Michel Cremades), a father figure (Jean-Pierre Marielle), a mother figure (Yolande Moreau), and a love interest (Julie Ferrier) who happens to be a contortionist.



“Micmacs” would probably be Amelie Poulain’s favorite movie. It so clearly fits in the world view of Jean-Pierre Jeunet but also feels like a less-memorable work than what he’s delivered before. The cinematography and art direction are typically excellent and the movie can be very funny, but it has less weight than anything Jeunet has made before. Despite having a “wacky Russian Roulette scene,” the movie plays like a lark, a side project instead of a complete work. There’s more ingenuity in “Micmacs” than nearly anything you’ll rent this movie — just don’t be surprised if you aren’t left wishing it added up to something more.

Special Features:
o “The Making of Micmacs”
o Q & A With Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Actress Julie Ferrier
o Director’s Commentary
o Animations: Absurd Deaths

“Micmacs” stars Dany Boon, Andre Dussollier, Omar Sy, Dominique Pinon, Julie Ferrier, and Nicolas Marie. It was written by Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Guillaume Laurant and directed by Jeunet. It will be released by Sony on December 14th, 2010 and is rated R. It runs 104 minutes.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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