Micmacs * * * 1/2

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Director: Jean-Pierre Juenet.
Screenplay: Jean-Pierre Juenet, Guillaume Laurant.
Starring: Dany Boon, Andre Dussollier, Domonique Pinon, Nicolas Marie, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Yolande Moreau, Julie Ferrier, Omar Sy, Michel Cremades.

Director Jean-Pierre Juenet certainly has an idiosyncratic style and if your familiar with, and enjoyed, his other films “Delicatessen” and “Amelie” then you will find plenty to enjoy here. As it’s – in his own words – a cross between the two.

Bazil (Dany Boon) is film buff who luckily works as a video store clerk. Unluckily though, he witnesses a shooting one evening which leaves him with a stray bullet lodged in his head. After surviving the incident and learning that the symbol on the bullet is also the same symbol that was on the landmine that killed his father years ago, he sets about to bring down the arms dealers responsible and enlists the help of a group of former circus performers, inventors and all round social misfits to aide his revenge.

Jeunet’s usual visual flair and eccentric oddball characters are ever present as is, his knack for finding art in the every-day. There are very few directors working today with the vision and inventiveness that Juenet consistantly shows (the Coens being notable others). As close as your likely to get to a live-action cartoon, ranging from human cannonballs to a bowl full of wasps dangling precariously above it’s target with an alarm clock ticking, waiting to send it on it’s way. Very inventive and creative throughout but it suffers from being poorly paced and not entirely keeping you engaged and as Juenet would like to claim that it’s a mix of both “Delicatessen” and “Amelie”, it unfortunately lacks the surreal darkness of the former and the beauty and charm of the latter.

However, if you view this on it’s own merit, without comparison, you may well be less critical, as it’s still a fine addition to Juenet’s wonderful work and a very enjoyable and entertaining watch.

Mark Walker

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