Luc Besson‘s take on Tardi’s comics on the adventures of the plucky and charismatic Adele is a welcome return to the adventure movies of old. Think of it as the French version of Indian Jones or the female and far more engaging version of Tin Tin (the recent Hollywood reincarnation). With the intrepid adventurer and novelist, Adele played by Louise Bourgoin and surrounded by a supporting cast who gamely bring their sometimes absurd characters to life, this fanciful yarn has everything from a pterodactyl to a gaggle of mummies. Add to the mix a witty script with a good dash of heart and you come up with one of the truly fun films in recent years.
Loosely based on several of Tardis’ works but largely from “Adele and the Beast” (1976) and “Mummies on Parade” (1978), we find Adele on a quest to bring back to life Ramesses II‘s doctor/physician Patmosis in order to revive her sister Agathe, who has been in a coma for five years following a freak accident involving tennis and a hatpin. To complicate matters, Professor Espérandieu (Jacky Nercessian) whose telepathic skills are integral to Adele’s plans has been sent to death row after being implicated in the case of 136 million year-old pterodactyl egg hatching. Hilarity ensues.
Although many of the audiences today may find many of the effects dated, the film has enough charm and laughs to allow for such shortcomings to be overlooked. In fact, this particular viewer wouldn’t mind finding out what comes next for Adele.