Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Louise Bourgoin
Mathieu Almaric
Nicolas Giraud
Gilles Lellouche
Jacky Nercessian.
Directors
Luc Besson.
Screenwriters
Luc Besson.
Running Time
107 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Guardians Of The Galaxy
4 Star Empire Rating
A Night At The Cinema In 1914
4 Star Empire Rating
Hide Your Smiling Faces
4 Star Empire Rating
A Promise
1 Star Empire Rating
Nut Job, The
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

Adele Blanc-Sec
Besson is back!


submit to reddit


Plot
Paris, 1911: When a pterodactyl hatches in a museum and begins terrorising the town, clueless detective Caponi (Lellouche) seeks the connection between the prehistoric menace, a mad old professor (Nercessian) conducting resurrection experiments and intrepid reporter Adèle Blanc-Sec (Bourgoin), whose pursuit of ancient artefacts is a desperate personal mission...


Review
Adele Blanc-Sec
Amélie meets Indiana Jones in a charming, funny and exciting escapade. The French love their comic books, and it’s great to see Luc Besson sufficiently enamoured of Jacques Tardi’s sexy Adèle Blanc-Sec serials to set aside his producing activities long enough to direct one with his habitual lashings of personal style and a still-youthful energy. Adapted by Besson from two of Tardi’s ‘albums’ (Adèle Et La Bête and Momies En Folie, comics connoisseurs), it’s an offbeat ripping yarn, with a plucky, resourceful, unflappable heroine (Louise Bourgoin) who romps from Egyptian tomb to tennis court in picturesque big hats and pre-First World War skirts but a thoroughly modern spirit.

Besson and his regular director of photography since La Femme Nikita, Thierry Arbogast, and Joan Of Arc production designer Hugues Tissandier have created a wonderful, visually rich early 20th century Paris in which boulevardiers, can-can dancers, politicians, le bon ton, scholars and a Scottish terrier mingle fantastically with re-animated prehistorical and mummified beings. Adèle also journeys to Egypt — references to her previous adventures make clear her renown for globe-trotting exploits in search of myth and mystery — where a treasure hunt gets tricky and dangerously confrontational with the entrance of sinister tomb raider/rival Dieuleveult (an alarmingly prostheticised Mathieu Amalric). Meanwhile shy scientist Zborowski (Nicolas Giraud) is nurturing an unrequited love for Mlle. Adèle, Adèle’s twin sister lies in near-death catatonia after a spectacularly freaky accident, and the French government has set a mighty big-game hunter (Jean-Paul Rouve as Saint-Hubert) on the trail of the pesky pterodactyl with whom we have every sympathy. Relative newcomers Bourgoin and Giraud are attractively engaging, Bourgoin’s beauteous but no-nonsense Adèle winning over the living, the dead and the indeterminate with her catchphrase/signature move: “Into my arms!”

The actors play it droll but fairly straight through a playful series of set-pieces, like a montage of Adèle’s numerous attempts, in a string of disguises, to break Jacky Nercessian’s decrepit eccentric, Professor Esperandieu (a dead ringer for Ralph Fiennes as the burned English Patient), out of prison, and a close shave with the guillotine that makes breathing difficult from screaming and laughing at the same time.


Verdict
A romp magnifique, with enough thrills, giggles and pretty pictures to reward adventure-lovers who wouldn’t normally entertain the idea of taking in a treat with subtitles. Don’t miss the mid-credits postscript.


Reviewed by Angie Errigo

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Adele Blanc-Sec
Empire Star Rating

Fun film

OH dear some people don't like it and I guess that is why Luc Besson is who he is. He divides people. It's amazing what he has done with the budget as this looks on par with any huge Hollywood production. True to the comics Adele Blanc Sec is a fun film. It is not serious while the humour is of a distincly French tone which may explain why some do not get it. The reality is that unlike much of Besson's recent work this is aimed fair and square at a French audience. This is not a film fo... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by boristhespie at 21:11, 28 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec

Director/Screenwriter:sson Starring: Bourgoin, Mathieu Amalric, Gilles Lellouche, Jacky Nercessian Synopsis Set in the early 20th Century, novelist Adele Blanc-Sec (Bourgoin) has in her possession a mummy which she wants to resurrect in order to save her dying sister. Meanwhile, a pterodactyl is on the loose in Paris and only Madame Blanc-Sec can save the day. Review It has been said for many years that Luc Leon was going to stop directing and just produce a series of ac... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by R W at 18:07, 26 April 2011 | Report This Post


“DARTH VADER” STRIKES BACK – THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADELE BLANC-SEC

I quite liked it. Not much of a fan of Besson in general tho. Here's a copy and paste of my review. - TH VADER” STRIKES BACK – THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADELE BLANC-S The man deemed “The Darth Vader Of French Cinema” returns to directing after a number of years out in the wilderness of producing with The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec, with Luc Besson looking to Jacques Tardi’s forty year-old Franco-Belgian bande dessinee for inspiration. The Extraordinary Adventu... More

Posted by adambatman82 at 15:13, 26 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Absolute turkey !!

L: Jasper_29 This film is to Raiders what The Fifth Element was to Blade Runner -- only much, much worse. The acting is average, the humour is poop (literally) and some of the effects make The Mummy Returns look like Oscar material. If you believe this might be a fun adventure film think again, this is garbage of the highest order. Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man..." ... More

Posted by Ti at 05:42, 22 April 2011 | Report This Post


Well...

I thought it was great! I saw a preview screening at the French instiute in London on the 14th April and we enjoyed a Q&A with the leading lady afterwards as well! I thought this was beautifullly shot and very witty and nicely paced. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ktmurphy at 22:19, 21 April 2011 | Report This Post


I really wish I could make my own mind up but it is hardly showing anywhere outside London. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bagrot1 at 15:41, 21 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Absolute turkey !!

garbage of the highest order. ike The Fifth Element and Joan of Arc then? ... More

Posted by Deviation at 13:58, 19 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Absolute turkey !!

This film is to Raiders what The Fifth Element was to Blade Runner -- only much, much worse. The acting is average, the humour is poop (literally) and some of the effects make The Mummy Returns look like Oscar material. If you believe this might be a fun adventure film think again, this is garbage of the highest order. ... More

Posted by Jasper_29 at 11:11, 19 April 2011 | Report This Post


Absolute turkey !!

Empire, are you kidding ? This is by far Luc Besson's worst film. It is farcical, boring, charmless and the lead has zero charisma. I'm astonished at your review.. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SEEDA at 09:53, 18 April 2011 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Our official verdict on Marvel's latest addition to their cinematic universe

Frank Grillo's Ten Toughest Hollywood Tough Guys
The Purge: Anarchy star picks his favourite badasses

Role By Role With Joel McHale
The star of The Soup and Community on Spider-Man 2 and much more

'I Have The Club But I Didn't Get The Lion's Head'
Dwayne Johnson (and pals) talks Hercules props, action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

Peter Fonda On Peter Fonda
The Hollywood legend relives his career highlights

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)