The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (film)
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|The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec|
French film poster
|Directed by||Luc Besson|
|Produced by||Virginie Besson-Silla|
|Screenplay by||Luc Besson|
|Based on||"Adèle and the Beast" and "Mummies on Parade"|
by Jacques Tardi
|Narrated by||Bernard Lanneau|
|Music by||Éric Serra|
|Edited by||Julien Rey|
|Budget||$36.7 million |
|Box office||$34.1 million|
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (French: Les Aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec), released as Adèle: Rise of the Mummy in Malaysia and Singapore, is a 2010 French fantasy adventure feature film written and directed by Luc Besson. It is loosely based on the comic book series The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec by Jacques Tardi and, as in the comic, follows the eponymous writer and a number of recurring side characters in a succession of far-fetched incidents in 1910s Paris and beyond, in this episode revolving around parapsychology and ultra-advanced Ancient Egyptian technology, which both pastiche and subvert adventure and speculative fiction of the period. The primarily live-action film, shot in Super 35, incorporates much use of computer animation to portray its fanciful elements and contemporary action film special and visual effects within the form of the older-style adventure films they have largely superseded.
The film incorporates characters and events from several of the albums, in particular the first, "Adèle and the Beast", first published in 1976, and the fourth, 1978's "Mummies on Parade," within an overall plot of Besson's construction and takes place primarily in Paris, c. 1912.
While experimenting with the telepathic techniques he has been researching, Professor Espérandieu hatches a 136 million year-old pterosaur egg within the Galerie de paléontologie et d'anatomie comparée, resulting in the death of a former prefect (scandalously sharing a taxicab with a Moulin Rouge showgirl) which though witnessed only by the then-drunk Choupard sparks an epidemic of claimed sightings of the creature. The President of France orders the case be considered of utmost urgency by the National Police, only for it to be handed down to the bumbling Inspector Albert Caponi.
Adèle Blanc-Sec, a journalist and travel writer of some fame, finds herself involved after returning from Egypt, where she was searching for Ramesses II's mummified doctor/physician Patmosis. She wants to revive the mummy with the help of Espérandieu so the doctor can save her sister Agathe, who is comatose following an unfortunate tennis incident involving a hatpin. After a brief struggle with her nemesis, the mysterious Professor Dieuleveult, she retrieves the mummy and returns home. Her mission is complicated further by Espérandieu being on death row, having been blamed for the pterosaur's attacks, in lieu of Inspector Caponi and celebrity big game hunter Justin de Saint-Hubert having any success in taking down the beast itself. Andrej Zborowski, a researcher at the Jardin des Plantes who is enamored with Adèle, is able to lure the pterosaur into hiding. Adèle, riding the pterosaur, rescues Espérandieu moments before his execution.
Saint-Hubert fatally shoots the pterosaur along with Espérandieu, but not before Espérandieu is able to revive the mummy. The mummy ends up being the Pharaoh's physicist ("I'm a nuclear physicist. I deal in figures, signs and equations.") and is unable to help her sister medically. He does, however, accompany Adèle to the Louvre, where they revive the rest of the Pharaoh's mummified court on display there, including the Pharaoh himself. The Pharaoh's doctor uses their advanced medical techniques to revive Agathe. The Pharaoh then decides he wants to see Paris, so the entire court wanders out into the night, scaring the ever-hapless Choupard yet again.
Adèle decides she needs a vacation to relax. The final scene shows her boarding a ship, and the camera pans out to reveal the name of the ship, the RMS Titanic. Dieuleveult is then shown, maliciously smiling.
- Louise Bourgoin as Adèle Blanc-Sec
- Mathieu Amalric as Dieuleveult
- Philippe Nahon as Professor Ménard
- Gilles Lellouche as Inspector Albert Caponi
- Jean-Paul Rouve as Justin de Saint-Hubert
- Jacky Nercessian as Professor Espérandieu
- Nicolas Giraud as Andrej Zborowski
- Frédérique Bel as The Bourgeois
- Laure de Clermont as Agathe Blanc-Sec
- Swann Arlaud as The Elysée crier
Variety magazine called the film a "polished comicbook adaptation" and praised the performance of Louise Bourgoin's as the titular heroine. The reviewer complains that Besson's work is uneven, and the reviewer suggests that Besson would benefit from fresh collaborative voices, and a scissors for the overlong third act.
Angie Errigo of Empire magazine gave the film 4 stars, proclaiming that "Besson is back". Matthew Turner of ViewLondon gave the film 5 stars, writing: "impressively directed and beautifully designed, this is a highly entertaining and frequently funny action-adventure romp with a witty script, great special effects and a terrific central performance from rising star Louise Bourgoin".
- April and the Extraordinary World, a 2015 animated film, also based on the visual style of Tardi
- List of films based on French-language comics
- Thomas, G.W. "Adèle Blanc-Sec (1976–1998) by Jacques Tardi". The Ghostbreakers. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
- "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec" (PDF) (Press release). EuropaCorp. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec". uniFrance. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- "Official trailer" (in French). EuropaCorp. 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- "Les Aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec — The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- "Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec (The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec) (2010)". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "Adèle: Rise of the Mummy". Yahoo! Malaysia Movies. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- "Adèle Blanc-Sec". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
- Mintzer, Jordan (18 April 2010). "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec". Variety.
- Errigo, Angie. "Adèle Blanc-Sec". Empire.
- "Adèle Blanc-Sec". ViewLondon.
- "Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec coming to Blu-ray". Los Angeles Times.