I should state from the outset that I am not a Jean-Pierre Jeunet fan (even his website annoys me). I yawned through Delicatessen while the rest of the theatre hooted and guffawed in delight. The City of Lost Children did nothing for me. And I could not understand the fuss that was made of Amelie. I found it cutsie-poo rather than endearing, and frankly, a bit silly. I suspect it would have been savaged as lightweight romcom pap if it had come out of Hollywood.
Still, Jeunet’s work is widely acclaimed, and people who respond positively to his films seem to do so in a big way.
Stylistically, Micmacs has a lot in common with Delicatessen. In fact, Jeunet makes multiple references to his earlier films throughout (including Micmacs itself – there is a brief shot of a billboard advertising the movie).
I am VERY over self-referentiality. It might have been clever in the beginning, but that’s a long time ago now. Leave it director guys, just leave it! I don’t care how much you love movies (and especially, it seems, your own movies). Stop the goddam signposting! O that post-modernism would finally disappear up its own arse as was always its destiny. Let it go!
Um, OK – the synopsis. In a hazelnut shell, the story is of a group of misfits each with special qualities or expertise (eg: one is a contortionist, another a human cannonball) who join forces against two powerful arms-dealing corporations.
The memorable and quite ingenious showdown is for me by far the best part of this movie, or any other Jeunet has done for that matter – the evil arms dealers cop what’s coming to them in a most unpredictable and satisfying manner.
On the way, there are lots of bizarre goings-on (‘micmacs’ translates as ‘shenanigans’, apparently) that borrow in no small part from Pixar and the cartoon genre generally. Delightful and hilarious for some folk no doubt, but unfunny and tedious for me. And, there is no getting away from it – silly.
That’ll do. No point whinging on. Take this review with a grain of salt if you belong to the pro-Jeunet crowd. If you’re into his stuff, you’ll probably love this. If you’re not, then like me, chances are you’ll be bored shitless 30 minutes in and periodically checking your watch, even though the movie is relatively short (105 minutes).
For other Boomtown Rap movie reviews, see Movie Review Archives