Jean Pierre-Jeunet is a man of visual talent. You only need to watch one of his films to know that. However, it's not as if "you've seen one, you've seen them all". Jeunet is a unique man with a unique perspective, and he can always deliver something new and inventive with each original project he releases. Fresh out of the oven was "Delicatessen", fresh out of the ocean was "The City of Lost Children", and fresh out of the heart was "Amelie". Now, fresh out of the toolbox, comes Jeunet's latest film. That film is "Micmacs". Jean Pierre-Jeunet's newest feature has all that a Jeunet-directed film should; outstanding and unique visuals, irresistible charm, whacky humor, flamboyant silliness, and Dominique Pinon. Yes, this might as well be a typical day in the mind of Jean Pierre-Jeunet, and strangely enough I haven't gotten tired of the man's psychedelic visions. Like I have said many times before, Jeunet is the French equivalent of Terry Gilliam. However, Jeunet's films are less "serious" and perhaps less "dark". While Gilliam imprints something relatively humorous into each and every one of his works, the man seems to enjoy working with dark, psychological beauty the most. Jeunet does not have this ability. Jeunet does work with visual finesse, but in a different way. Jeunet's films are silly, fun, and outlandish. "Micmacs" is everything that a directorial film from the man should be. In other words, it was a lot of goofy fun. But "Micmacs" is not without its flaws. The only HUGE flaw I can really find is with the plot, and it puts one hell of a dent in the quality of the film. As with most of Jeunet's films, his story-telling is a bit too simple and even a bit off. However, there's always something clever to keep the audience hooked, and Jeunet's hoping to reel in a big one with his newest feature. Maybe someday, he's reel in the big fish. But for now, he's got thousands of little fish hooked, and he should indeed be proud. That is why Jeunet is the appealing director he is; because he knows who likes his films and who doesn't. I think it's safe to say that most people enjoy a good visual feast, and Jeunet is the best in France when it comes to delivering such a thing. You can't miss it.
The film opens with the death of a soldier by landmine in some unnamed place. The soldier is revealed to be the father of Bazil, the hero of this story. Bazil grows up to find himself working in a Video Rental shop. One night, while watching "The Big Sleep", a stray bullet comes his way and hits Bazil in the forehead. After a lot of surgery, Bazil is able to return to society. However, he has no home, no job, and no friends left for him to turn to. But then comes along Slammer, a man who introduces Bazil to an "adoptive" family living in a trash dump. The family consists of many inventors and hard workers, as well as one contortionist. As Bazil is recollecting himself one day, he comes to discover that two of the largest weapons manufacturing companies reside just across the street from each-other. But why is this important exactly? Well, the death of Bazil's father and the bullet stuck in Bazil's head were caused by items from both companies respectively. Thus Bazil wants revenge. The entire crew agrees to help him get even, although it will indeed take some time and work. The rest of the film goes as you would want it to: nothing much more than revenge. However, its how the revenge is carried out that makes "Micmacs" the highly amusing work that it is. This film is an exercise in pure cinematic fun, and I feel that Jean Pierre-Jeunet is the man for the job. "Micmacs" is consistently entertaining, whether it's the dialogue or it's the vengeance tactics, there was not a boring moment to spare. But as I said, "Micmacs" is not a perfect film. In fact, it is far from it. The film is plagued by the plot, which spends most of its time focusing on fun rather than genuine advancement. I can't complain about the characters, since no matter how anti-complex they may be, they are all cleverly thought-up. This is what I expected from "Micmacs"; pure entertainment, and nothing much more. I say that it's worth seeing solely for the sheer spectacle and visual uniqueness that it offers. Very few directors can do what Jeunet can do, and he is one of the rare visual geniuses of world cinema.
Danny Boon is the star of the film. He doesn't completely own it, but Boon is a good actor in a good film. "Micmacs" and Danny Boon seemed to be "made for each-other". I think that Boon's performance is made most effective by the innocent, silly nature of it. There's something oddly charming about Boon's oddball character, and I kind of had to admire its endearing appeal. As with every other freaking Jean Pierre-Jeunet film, Dominique Pivon just has to make an appearance. And as always, he plays a relatively large role (meaning more than a mere cameo). Pivon is as content as ever, playing a goofy, anti-crucial, but lovable character. The entire supporting cast is actually pretty darn good, although those two I must praise significantly more than anyone else. Jeunet has an eye for talent, and he is good as assembling a good cast. Boon and Jeunet make a pretty good team, as it turns out. They seem to work pretty well together.
Why do we watch Jeunet's films to begin with? Why is it that we can almost always forget the flaws in his films? Why? Those questions were answered long ago, but I still see people asking them. You too may wonder why Jeunet has garnered so many fans, so here is why. Take a good look at "Micmacs". What do you notice? If you notice the quirky visuals, then you're right on target. Jeunet's visual preferences are the reason why we still stick with him. Jeunet has made many entertaining features, and "Micmacs" is without a doubt one of them. It's not perfect, but I don't suppose it wants to be. Let's start with the "awesome", and then we'll move on to the "good". "Micmacs" may as well be absolutely striking on a visual level, and it had me captivated throughout. Perhaps the story isn't as amazing as the visuals, but "Micmacs" feels, sounds, and looks like an inventive piece of art on its own. That art being visual art and nothing much more. It's fun to look at; much like most of Jeunet's films. There's something humorous; something charming about his newest features, although it doesn't go beyond or below my original expectations. It's a typical Jeunet-directed film, and I'm pretty fine with that. Music is good, and "Micmacs" has that sort of playful aspect to it that most films just can't seem to get right. It has an awesome, kick-ass atmosphere, and I think the best approach is to let all thought drift away and just have some nearly-mindless, goofy fun.
"Micmacs" has the charm that countless movies of every year can only hope to have. It also has the silly, outlandish sense of humor that we just plain don't see enough these days. It's a nice visual feast, and it's best to simply look at it rather than try to get something more out of it. "Micmacs" exists to please, but perhaps its charm will only work for a select few. It's funny and interesting, and makes for one of the most unique films of the year. The one argument I have is that it isn't perfect, and I would find it pathetic to criticize it further. After all, I'm no part-pooper. I'm not one for spoiling some damn good fun, and "Micmacs" is most certainly that. But if you're not in to Jeunet whatsoever, then this is a bunch of the ol' "same old, same old". I like Jeunet, so I was fine with what "Micmacs" managed to offer. But since it's no different from a typical film from Jean Pierre-Jeunet, it's not for those who already dislike the man's somewhat questionable style. None the less, "Micmacs" is better than "The City of Lost Children", as good as "Delicatessen", and not as splendid as "Amelie". Perhaps "Amelie" will forevermore remain Jeunet's sole masterpiece. Or maybe "A Very Long Engagement" gives it a run for its money. All I know is that "Micmacs" essentially had no potential chance at beating "Amelie" in quality, but that comes to no surprise. Thus I am one of the few fortunate souls who could enjoy "Micmacs" in its entirety, and I see it as a complete, well-made visual thrill. It's a treat, and treats should never be missed. I say see it, for what it's worth. So that's it.