The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

Gallic auteur Luc Besson, best known for slick contemporary thrillers Nikita and Léon, turns his hand to a rollicking period adventure based on a series of comic books by French author Jacques Tardi and set (mostly) in a stylishly recreated 1912 Paris.

Imagine a zany mix of Amélie and Lara Croft, Indiana Jones and Tintin, and you have Louise Bourgoin’s plucky heroine, an intrepid journalist who undertakes thrilling escapades in long skirts and big hats to gather copy for her writings. The motive for her latest exploit, however, is to find a cure for her paralysed sister, left catatonic by a freak accident involving a tennis match and a hatpin. With modern medics at a loss, she’s seeking to revive the mummy of an ancient Egyptian doctor but must also grapple with a prehistoric pterodactyl that’s been brought to life by an eccentric scientist.

As Adèle gamely pursues her quest, hampered by a lovelorn young scientist, an inept big-game hunter, bungling cops and a dastardly rival (played by former Bond villain Mathieu Amalric), Besson has his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, but if you don’t mind the whimsy (or the subtitles) you should find this romp hugely entertaining.

Released on DVD & Blu-ray by Optimum Home Entertainment on 15th August.

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