The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec 2010 ***

Blockbuster movies are rarely made in languages other than English; visual spectacles are dubbed or subtitled for non-English speaking territories. So Luc Besson was probably always going to be on a loser when he chose to adapt Jacques Tardi’s comic book for the big-screen; a female Indiana Jones with added dinosaurs, Adele Blanc Sec’s turn of the 20th century adventures are great fun, and it’s disappointing they didn’t find a wider audience. Louise Bourgoin is Adele, initially despondent after a tennis accident leaves her sister Agatha in a coma. She starts out on a search for the tomb of Ramses II, but when a pterodactyl egg hatches in Paris, Adele finds herself on a different kind of adventure than she expected. It’s admirable that Besson stuck to his guns and made the film in French; this lively period romp would be an ideal way to persuade young English speaking audiences of the unique charms of French language cinema.


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