Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s latest effort, dealing as it does with a war on arms manufacturers, could do with a little more of darkness à la Delicatessen than the whimsy of Amélie. Perhaps that is to be expected, with the light-heartedness and cute factor of the latter resonating so very strongly with audiences (if not this particular reviewer). It’s no major transgression on the part of Jeunet’s, however, that he takes Micmacs in this direction; his exuberant playfulness is well suited to slapstick, he is eager to embrace tangents and diversions, and content for the story to go wherever his imagination suggests. More
But absent of any sense of danger for the film’s ragtag bunch of scavenging misfits and neither showing the impression of a threat nor displaying much cold-hearted villainy from the corporate warmongers they come up against, there’s never the feeling that anything is at stake in the film. Instead Micmacs consists of a tension-free series of Mission: Impossible-like set pieces by way of the circus or perhaps Stig Of The Dump, a relentlessly cheerful and wacky tone, and a surprising absence of diatribe against its bad guys. Even the film’s negligible romantic subplot comes off undercooked, as if light-heartedness and actual human emotion were mutually exclusive concepts.
In alternating between childishness and risqué elements, and embracing a convoluted storyline, Jeunet perhaps missed an opportunity to make Micmacs a film that children would find hilarious. Instead it doesn’t prove adult enough for grown-ups, and fails to fully satisfy. Hide