Genre Grandeur – The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec (2010) – Rhyme & Reason


For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Adventure Films, here’s a review of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec (2010) by SG of Rhyme and Reason

Thanks again to Damien of Riley on Film for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Summer of Serendipitous Anachronisms She has chosen quite a unique genre and we will be reviewing our favorite Derivative Work Movies.

Here’s Summer to explain her choice:

Basically it is anything based or inspired by pre-existing source

for example:

Amelie takes its relationships from the Luncheon of the Boating Party

The Magnificent Seven is borrowed from the Seven Samurai

Sunday in the Park with George is based on painting by George Seurat

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is loosely based on Hamlet

My Own Private Idaho borrows from Henry the IV

Cosi is about a director directing the musical Cosi Fan Tutti

Pride Prejudice and Zombies borrows from Pride and Prejudice

Clueless borrows from the novel Emma

Monty Python and the Holy Grail borrows from the Arthurian Legend

Basically a film that borrows from pre-existing source but reinvents the source material into something else

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of June by sending them to  Try to think out of the box! Great choice Summer!

Let’s see what SG thought of this movie:


2The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec




There’s something harassing the sky,

A creature too quick for the eye,

A reptilian shape

That has made its escape

With the help of a clairvoyant guy.



Cadavers are walking the street,

In search of poor Frenchmen to greet.

Egyptian undead

Aren’t as bad as you’ve read,

Although they’re not very discreet.



So how are these incidents linked,

You ask, with the Paris precinct?

My bafflement grows,

But Adèle likely knows

Why the past is no longer extinct.




MPAA rating: PG (at least for the censored American release I saw, which removed the original’s nudity)



I’m not even sure where I first heard of this French adventure, but it’s a film that almost defies description. Directed by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Arthur and the Invisibles), The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec is an unpredictable romp through 1912 Paris, based on the world of French comic book writer Jacques Tardi, who personally approved the production. Its European comic book origin bids me to draw comparisons with The Adventures of Tintin, but it also bears similarities to Indiana Jones and The Mummy franchise, while being entirely more fanciful than any of them.


It starts out in whimsically bewildering style, with a narrator explaining a series of seemingly unconnected characters: a man walking home late at night, a drunk politician at a Moulin Rouge show, the showgirl he seduces, and an elderly telepathic scientist who makes his apartment furniture float as he hatches a pterodactyl egg at a museum and psychically controls the creature. Talk about bonkers! It’s a rather confusing prologue that nonetheless sets the stage for the heroine. Adèle Blanc-Sec herself, a journalist who writes of her colorful adventures, is away in Egypt in search of a mummified doctor, and the story improves as it switches into Indiana Jones mode, with a confrontation with her rival that manages to rip off the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark while still being unique. The rest of the tale bounces around with such waggish drollery that I couldn’t and shouldn’t spoil it all, but let’s just say there are bumbling detectives, big game hunters, futile jailbreaks, mummies that somehow speak French, and a tennis match with a cringe-worthy ending.


The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec was to be the first of a trilogy, though that seems unlikely considering it was six years ago. I suppose I can see why it wasn’t continued: it’s eccentric and peculiarly fun in its own way, but isn’t as consistently funny or action-packed as it could have been. The visual effects match the likes of Hollywood films for the most part, though the CGI is obvious in a few scenes with the pterodactyl. The best strength of the film is Louise Bourgoin as master of disguise Adèle, who is tough, intelligent, impatient, and obstinate while remaining elegant and occasionally tender. While her adventures are a bit absurd for my taste, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Adèle in any further films.



Rank: Honorable Mention



© 2016 S. G. Liput

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3 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec (2010) – Rhyme & Reason

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur May Finale – Castaway – Riley on Film |

  2. Pingback: reblogged: Genre Grandeur May Finale – Castaway – Riley on Film - Riley on Film

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