Synopsis: A man and his friends come up with a plan to destroy two big weapon manufacturers.
Release Date: May 28, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Comedy, Crime
Micmacs, or Micmacs a tire-larigot in the original French, is a nearly untranslatable slang idiom meaning roughly something like “troublemakers” or “shenangians”. Like its title, the plot of this film is equally bizarre. The film opens in North Africa where a soldier is blown to bits by a land mine. Cut to France where a young boy mourns the loss of his father. Fast forward thirty years and that same boy, now a man named Brazil (Dany Boon) working at a video store in Paris, is improbably struck in the skull by an assassin’s errant bullet. On the flip of a coin, the doctor decides to leave the bullet in his head. You see, Brazil’s survival chances were fifty-fifty: he could have easily died during the operation. Of course, the bullet could migrate into his brain at any moment, causing instant death. To add insult to injury, upon his release from the hospital, Brazil discovers he has lost his job and his apartment. He becomes a street performer and is taken in by a band of scavengers and inventors who live in a trash heap. The group includes an ex-con named Slammer (Jean-Pierre Marielle) and a prickly contortionist (Julie Ferrier). Together, they plot revenge against the two arms manufacturing companies that made the land mine that killed Brazil’s father and the bullet that nearly killed Brazil.
If you thought it was exhausting just reading that synopsis, imagine watching the movie. Jeunet (Amelie, A Very Long Engagement) is known for his over-stuffed plots and dizzying visual inventiveness. Unfortunately, Micmacs has neither the wit and charm of Amelie, nor the lush romanticism of A Very Long Enagement. As Brazil, Dany Boon is an inert and un-engaging protagonist, perhaps necessarily because of his head injury, but the film never fully recovers from the lack of charm and depth at the center of the story.The supporting cast tries to compensate and they are all admirable weirdos, including a man who speaks only in cliches and another trying to make the Guinness Book of World Records for human cannonballing.
But all of this eccentricity adds up to nothing. The arms dealers are just as odd as our heroes (one collects celebrity body parts), but the film stalls when it tries to confront the dealers with the atrocities they’ve committed in North Africa and around the world. Such serious business has no place in such a silly film as this. And that’s the main issue with Micmacs: there is no sense of reality. It clearly wants to take place in the real world, where the war in Afghanistan is ongoing and office workers spend hours a day on YouTube, and yet, the characters inhabit a green and gold-tinted Paris where there is never any traffic (except when the script calls for it) and Brazil can plan and execute elaborate surveillance schemes with scavenged equipment. Ultimately, Micmacs is a disappointment for Jeunet fans and probably just too weird for mainstream audiences.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Jean Pierre JeunetGilles Legrand
- Producer(s): Jean Pierre JeunetGuillaume Laurant
- Screenwriter(s): Dany Boon (Bazil)Andre Dussollier (Nicolas Thibault de Fenouillet)Nicolas Marie (Francois Marconi)
- Cast: Herve SchneidTetsuo NagataAline Bonetto
- Cinematographer: Raphael Beau
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: France