Of late, director Luc Besson has been noticeably absent from camera duties, with his name instead appearing in a "screenplay by" or "story by" category.
Well, the man that gave us the likes of "Leon," "Nikta," and "The Big Blue" is back and it is right to give him thanks and praise...
Based on a graphic novel, Besson delivers a story that only European cinema can seem to tell to its audience - a young, head-strong female reporter travels the globe to find a cure for her comatose sister whilst Paris, and her search, are inexplicably linked to the appearance of a pterodactyl high above the early 1900's city. Try watching Hollywood do that kind of story (actually, hopefully they won't!)...
For those of you have loved his films, you may find yourself wondering where Besson has stamped his mark on the film because it feels nothing like his previous body of work. This wonderfully kooky, surreal and insanely funny film talks, walks and looks more like it came from Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro - the two behind "The City Of Lost Children," "Amelie," and "Micmacs." Either way, you get to sit back and watch delights that swing between clever homages - Adele running through a corridor in a pyramid being chased by fire rather than a large rolling boulder takes Lara Croft's crown of female Indiana Jones away - to a sequence where the true nature of delegation is shown through the medium of phone calls from the President all the way down to the put-upon Inspector given the task of resolving the case. They even have their own version of "Raiders Of The Lost Ark's" Herr Flick!
Swinging from genre to genre, and high-brow to slap-stick, Besson and his cast go from a Peter Sellers-type attempt at a prison break straight to a botched execution I promise you you wouldn't have seen coming! You then get nods to Tintin's The Thompson Twins bumbling detectives and a sequence involving the best sheep disguises ever committed to celluloid - yep, this is an old-fashioned screwball comedy heavily laced with adventure and helped along with decent CGI to create a smile-inducing time. Even if you don't think you do subtitles, do it!
And don't leave your seat when the end credits start to roll - you'll be missing out if you do!
UK release date: 22.04.11