Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Adele, Mummies, Pterodactyls & Robert Downey's Patience

I don't get the jokes here - most especially when the mischief involves figuring in an almost fatal car accident, or inadvertently driving through Mexico while getting grilled by corrupt border officials; or having your wallet stolen by the same guy who had you listed on a "no-fly" list. It isn't funny to me when this supposedly affable stranger has caused you to almost miss the birth of your first child! No, I don't get such tomfoolery.

In the movie, Peter (Robert DowneyJr.) must get to L.A. from Atlanta in five days for the delivery of his first child. Then one trouble after the next happens: Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis), an eccentric actor who offers to give Peter a ride back to L.A. Since his wallet is lost and doesn't have any other options, he begrudgingly joins the eccentric Ethan (who masturbates even when they're both inside the car just so he could "sleep"). An overweight guy masturbating is just the ceiling of my patience. If that meant humor to anyone out there, then I am here to tell you that you're despicable! I am all grossed out! Eww!

For me, annoying guys annoy, and will never make for a cinematic hero!

"Due Date" is directed by Todd Phillips who gave us "Old School" and the endearing-and-hilarious "The Hangover".

I have never been fond of French humor. They tend to be either campy or slapstic, but the verbose "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec" has a director I particularly adore so I didn't really mind watching it.

It has been a generation since Luc Besson's "The Big Blue", an art house favorite that has elevated existentialism into the realm of romance. And I couldn't help but be curious with the mishmash of adventure-horror-comedy laid out in "Adele..."

In the film, Adele (the playful Louise Bourgoin) is a best-selling adventure writer who navigates the tombs of the ancient pyramids of Egypt to exhume the remains of an ancient "doctor" who she believes will resurrect her younger sister from catatonia (the result of a tennis accident that had a pin piercing through the latter's skull). But during Adele's journey, she unveils a curse that resurrects mummies of Egyptian royalties and prehistoric birds (a pterodactyl, to be exact). Moreover, those nasty baddies are hot on the trail of our heroine.

The story is told over deadpan voice over, and Ms. Blanc-Sec's adventure curiously mimics Indiana Jones' adrenaline-powered narratives. Unfortunately, the jokes feel too juvenile and most of the characters are unsympathetic, except for the lovestruck Andrej (Nicolas Giraud). CGI effects are decent and the performers look like they had a lot of fun while filming. And all the jokes were lost on me.

The Philippine title became "Adele: The Rise of the Mummy".

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