The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

  • 12
  • Luc Besson (2010)
  • Fr (SUB)
  • 102 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

There's certainly a hint of Hollywood blockbuster about Luc Besson's adaptation of Jacques Tardi's famed French comic strip about a female adventurer. But as with The Fifth Element before it, a strong injection of Gallic eccentricity ensures plenty of deviation from the usual formula. The action begins in Paris, 1912, with a pterodactyl hatching from its egg in a museum and going on to menace the city, prompting another challenge for Adèle Blanc-Sec. Louise Bourgoin's indefatigable heroine blends Indiana Jones's guile with a certain head-girl hauteur, while an Egyptian theme calls to mind The Mummy (although with variable digital effects). Much of the knockabout comedy and verbal wit is perhaps lost in translation, but the sheer whimsicality of the storytelling, enchanting Paris locations and deliciously ornate design work add to the appeal. Former Bond villain Mathieu Amalric gets a rather generous second billing for his brief showing as the heroine's nefarious rival, which is somehow typical of a film that's never quite as witty or thrilling as you'd hope, yet marches defiantly to its own beat.

Plot Summary

Period fantasy adventure based on the French comic book, starring Louise Bourgoin. Adventuring journalist Adèle Blanc-Sec travels to Egypt on an archaeological quest to find a way to revive her sister from a coma. But when she returns to Paris, Adèle finds the city under attack from a pterodactyl.

Cast and crew


Adèle Blanc-Sec
Louise Bourgoin
Professor Dieuleveult
Mathieu Amalric
Inspector Caponi
Gilles Lellouche
Justin de Saint-Hubert
Jean-Paul Rouve
Professor Marie-Joseph Esperandieu
Jacky Nercessian
Professor Menard
Philippe Nahon
Andrej Zborowski
Nicolas Giraud
Agathe Blanc-Sec
Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre


Luc Besson

Other Information

French +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Optimum Releasing
Contains brief nudity.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 22 Apr 2011
Certificate 12
Optimum Releasing