On improvising a burglary at a shady tycoon's home, Fred takes refuge in the hip and surreal universe of the Paris Metro and encounters its assorted denizens, the tycoon's henchmen and his disenchanted young wife.
Desperate to cure her near catatonic sister, intrepid authoress Adèle Blanc-Sec braves ancient Egyptian tombs and modern Egyptian lowlife to locate a mummified doctor and get him back to Paris. Her hope is that oddball Professor Espérandieu will then use his unusual powers to bring the doctor back to life so he, in turn, can use his centuries-old skills on the unfortunate sister. In Paris however Espérandieu is already causing mayhem, having brought to life what was a safe museum egg but is now a very active pterodactyl. Paris 1911 may not be the healthiest place to be.Written by
In the original french narration. "Pourtant, au même instant, à 953m de la rue de Rivoli, la vie battait son plein." "Pendant ce temps, Ferdinand n'avait parcouru que les 280m qui séparent la Concorde...de la place des Pyramides."
However, the Moulin Rouge is approximately 2 km from Rue de Rivoli, and la Place des Pyramides is nearly 953 m from Place de la Concorde. Maybe, followings are the original texts.
"Pourtant, à exactement 1,857 mètres de la rue de Rivoli, la fête bat son plein. " "Ferdinand Choupard ne lui a permis de couvrir que les 953 mètres séparant la place de la Concorde de la place des Pyramides. " See more »
When Adèle arrives at Paris station, one can see "SNCF" on one of the train cars. SNCF was created in 1938 but the movie is set in 1911. See more »
In the credits there is a little story about the great wildlife hunter after he shot the prehistoric pterodactyl. See more »
US version was cut by ca. 2 minutes to secure a PG rating. The scene where Adèle takes a bath was edited to remove nudity and smoking. In addition Professor Espérandieu's beheading and Adèle's accident at the tennis game were edited to remove frightening images. See more »
Beautifully filmed fantasy in minutely reconstructed early 20th century Paris
"Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec" is a good film. It almost qualifies for very good, but there a few small details which are poorly executed and which bar it from reaching its full potential.
The film has three excellent elements: masterful pacing, perfect editing and a great leading actress. Louise Bourgoin carries the movie with no apparent effort; the character of Mlle. Adèle Blanc-Sec "comme le vin" (*) fits right in with the minutely reconstructed Paris near the beginning of the 20th century. The quick pacing and seamless editing convey the thrill of moving from panel to panel in a comics (**) book (and I suspect that this was the intended effect).
(*) "Blanc sec" is French for "dry white". She helpfully tells a police officer that her name is "Dry White, as the wine", adding that he probably knows very well how to spell that.
(**) (For Americans) Note that in France and Belgium (and in Italy, to some extent) comics ("B.D." for "bandes dessinées") are an art form bearing little resemblance with Marvel's productions.
To get the most from the film you should watch it in the original French -- if you understand French, of course (subtitles may help). Part of the zany humor derives from the untranslatable undertones and rhythm of the dialog and narration.
The small details which detract from the overall beauty of the film consists in a few brief scenes where the computer-generated special effects should have been better. Carelessness is the word -- the vast majority of scenes containing CGI are well executed.
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