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The Return of James Battle (2004)

Atomik Circus - Le retour de James Bataille (original title)
James Bataille escapes from prison to find his fiancée Concia. But on his return, octopussy like aliens come to play bloody spoilsport. After lucky battle James and Concia escape to parallel world.


Jean-Phillippe Dugand, Marie Garel-Weiss (as Marie Garrel Weiss) | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Vanessa Paradis ... Concia
Jason Flemyng ... James Bataille
Benoît Poelvoorde ... Allan Chiasse
Jean-Pierre Marielle ... Bosco
Venantino Venantini ... Matt Kelso
Vincent Tavier Vincent Tavier ... Chef Brody
Bouli Lanners ... Chip
Jacky Lambert Jacky Lambert ... Dips
Dominique Bettenfeld ... Peter Cheval
Mar Sodupe Mar Sodupe ... Kitty
Vincent Belorgey Vincent Belorgey ... Boon / Ricardo Bello-Radio Skotlett
Daniel Cohen Daniel Cohen ... Peintre
Gaëtan Chataigner Gaëtan Chataigner ... Un membre des Perros Negros
Federico Pellegrini Federico Pellegrini ... Un membre des Perros Negros / Le narrateur
Stéphane Louvain Stéphane Louvain ... Un membre des Perros Negros


James Bataille escapes from prison to find his fiancée Concia. But on his return, octopussy like aliens come to play bloody spoilsport. After lucky battle James and Concia escape to parallel world.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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France | Germany | UK



Release Date:

21 July 2004 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Return of James Battle See more »


Box Office


€14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$263,261 (France), 30 July 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital EX



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Initially, the role of Bosco should have been played by Jean Yanne who began to work on the movie. But when he died in May 2003, the directors asked Jean-Pierre Marielle to take the role, and he accepted, partly because Jean Yanne was one of his friends. See more »

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User Reviews

Nice aliens, shame about the rest!
25 May 2006 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Atomik Circus is a crazy mix of comedy, musical, sci-fi and horror which, despite some great effects and a good deal of imagination, ultimately fails due to a poorly developed script and some bad pacing. The movie takes so long in introducing its offbeat characters that an hour passes before anything very interesting happens; by then, there isn't enough time left to develop a decent plot or even fit in a satisfying ending.

Jason Flemyng play James Battle, a stuntman who is jailed when a disastrous motorcycle jump results in the destruction of the Sam Paradiso bar, owned by Bosco, influential citizen of Skotlett, a backwater town inhabited mostly by weirdos—but also by Concia (Vanessa Paradis), Bosco's daughter and girlfriend of James.

Enter sleazy impresario Alan Chiasse (Benoit Poelvoorde) who pretends to be interested in promoting Concia's musical career, but who is really only interested in getting into her pants. As Alan is trying his best to seduce Concia, James is doing his utmost to reach his woman, having busted out of prison.

When James finally arrives at Skotlett, he not only finds his girl being pawed at by sleaze-bag Alan, but he also discovers that the town is under attack from face sucking tentacled creatures from another dimension.

The film only really gets going at this point, and it is here that we witness some great CGI monsters and lashings of gore, as the Lovecraftian beasts dismember and decapitate the helpless inhabitants of Skotlett. If the first 60 minutes had contained some of this crazy OTT action, I would have no hesitation in recommending Atomik Circus to fans of bizarre cinema; however, no amount of gore in the closing moments can make up for the tedious and disjointed first hour.

And the ending is just downright bizarre....

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