Micmacs à tire-larigot
Running Time: 105 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 12A
I had high hopes for Micmacs as Jean-Pierre Jeunet (with Amelie) and Dany Boon (with Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis) had won me over to modern French comedy. This made the contrived, over-kooky Micmacs a real disappointment to watch.
The main focus of Micmacs is Bazil (Boon) whose life has been pretty much ruined by two Parisian ammunition manufacturers. One killed his soldier father with one of their landmines and he has one of other’s bullets lodged in his head. He is taken in by a ‘family’ of misfits who live and salvage junk at a scrap metal yard, who get onboard and help Bazil gain revenge over the two arms dealers. This wacky gang includes (wait for it, there are some hilarious gems here) a contortionist, a zany inventor, a man from the Congo who only speaks in idioms and an imposing matriarch. It’s with this bunch of oddballs that the film will be irretrievably ruined for many. All these charichatures are horrendously over-the-top and the forced kookiness is so saccharine sweet that you may walk out of the cinema with diabetes. The permafixed grins and strange facial expressions are just plain scary, with the main culprits being Mama Chow (Moreau) and the contortionist (Ferrier).
The revenge story is at first extremely contrived and there isn’t really a danger element for the protagonists but there are enough amusing moments and clever plot devices to keep it slightly engrossing throughout. The two rival arms dealers, de Fenouillet (Dussollier) and Marconi (Marie), actually become the stars of the show. They deliver their lines with credibility and their heartless exploits are consistently amusing. Micmacs is a feelgood bag of tricks but with the all the gurning, miming and cartoon-like mannerisms this could almost be a children’s film if it weren’t for the dark arms dealer subplot. It might be assumed that Dany Boon is the new Charlie Chaplin but is there any place for a man like that in today’s movies?
It's Got: The world's most irritating family.
It Needs: To cut back on the kookiness.
Alternatives:Amelie, Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, Johnny English, Mr Bean
Being too kooky for it’s own good makes Micmacs a cringing watch.