104 minutes

After a stray bullet lodged in his brain throws him onto the street, a homeless young man finds shelter with a resourceful group of junk recyclers who help him set up his revenge on arms manufacturers.

It should be fairly obvious by now that it's unlikely that Jean-Pierre Jeunet will ever repeat the global popularity of Amélie, but to his credit Mic Macs à Tire-Larigot is closer in spirit to the gleeful baroque anarchy of Delicatessen, reminding that the French director has a lot more in common with the handcrafted whimsy of Terry Gilliam - even down to the usual stop-start plotting - or the visual sleight of hand of silent slapstick.
Toplining French star comedian Dany Boon as Bazil, a video-store clerk whose life was torn apart by two rival arms manufacturers (in the shape of the landmine that killed his soldier dad and the stray bullet that remains lodged in his brain), Micmacs is an exacting series of clockwork setpieces describing how Bazil takes his revenge with the help of a motley crew of resourceful if eccentric junk recyclers. It's set in Jeunet's usual airbrushed, colour-tinted, mythical Paris, every set art-directed to within a nano-inch of its life, and its savagely satirical look at arms dealers is a mere excuse for the director, co-scripting with his usual co-writer Guillaume Laurant, to give full rein to his love of physical comedy. The result is a paradox: a film that could not have been made fifty years ago, but that wants desperately to be one and look like one (down to the continuous quotes of classic movies and film scores), while continuously aware it cannot be.
Still, Jeunet is such a visual stylist that the sheer momentum of his ingenious, precisely calculated Rube Goldberg setpieces is enough to instill the sense of wide-eyed wonder in the viewer even as one realises it's all elaborate eye-candy. But superbly realised eye-candy nonetheless.
© 2011 Jorge Mourinha. all rights reserved by the author

Starring Dany Boon; with André Dussollier, Yolande Moreau, Dominique Pinon, Omar Sy, Michel Cremadès, Julie Ferrier, Nicolas Marie, Marie-Julie Baup; and Jean-Pierre Melville.
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet; produced by Frédéric Brillion, Gilles Legrand and mr. Jeunet; written by mr. Jeunet, Guillaume Laurant; music by Raphaël Beau; director of photography (Arane Gulliver, Panavision), Tetsuo Nagata; production designer, Aline Bonetto; costume designer, Madeline Fontaine; film editor, Hervé Schneid; visual effects, Alain Carsoux.
An Epithète Films/Tapioca Films presentation/production; in co-production with Warner Bros. Entertainment France, France 2 Cinéma and France 3 Cinéma; with the support of Région Île-de-France; with the participation of Orange Cinéma Séries, France 2, France 3. (French distributor, Warner Bros. Pictures France. World sales, TF1 International.) 
Screened: DVD, Lisbon, March 12th 2011. 


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