[critical] On the Trail of the Marsupilami

When Dan Geraldo, a reporter in search of a scoop, arrives in Palombie, he did not doubt that he will make the most amazing discoveries… With Pablito, a local guide full of resources, they will go from one surprise to another during an action-packed adventure and above all reveal a new special : The Marsupilami, mythical animal and mischievous, really exists !

Author’s Note


Release Date : April 4, 2012

Directed by Alain Chabat

Film French

With Alain Chabat, Jamel Debbouze, Lambert Wilson, Fred Testot

Duration : 1h45min

Original title : On the Trail of the Marsupilami

Trailer :

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In 1951, André Franquin created the comic strip Spirou and the Heirs of a strange mammal native to Palombie to the long tail, and with yellow fur spotted the most beautiful effect. 60 years later and after numerous appearances in albums of COMICS of Spirou and Fantasio, as well as in his own series of the same name, this particular animal is named Marsupilami is brought to life in dark rooms, under the direction of Alain Chabat, who had offered us the best adaptation of a comic book (Asterix and Obelix : Mission Cleopatra) as well as the worst cinematically speaking (RRRrrrr !!!).

The first remark we can make about this film is that the rendering of the Marsupilami is excellent. The animation of the character is fluid and the imaginary animal is both realistic in his facial expressions (that are respectful of those that Franquin has been assigned in the BD) and will no doubt please the children by his side, extremely cute. On this point, Alain Chabat has made no mistake. On the other hand, for the rest, it is a bit more mixed…

We will be on the scenario that is obviously not a model of intelligence having regard to the lightness of the film, but one will appreciate the recovery and discrete environmental message of the original cartoon in this comedy, even if it’s sometimes absurd (the smartphone application of “counter” of endangered species, for example). On the other hand, more harmful, is the slow pace of the film to start, no doubt linked to the large amount of characters to submit. The number of personalities in the credits of On the Trail of the Marsupilami fact that some characters are almost useless (Géraldine Nakache and Jacques Weber among others). However, their benefits are enough connections with their traditional level : as often in French comedies, stand-up comedians are here in their usual register (Alain Chabat and Jamel Debbouze in the absurd, Patrick Timsit in the laughing villain, Fred Testot, which cabotine sometimes in the manner of the SERVICE of the Emissions…). Of course, if you are not a client of the humor in “Canal+”, one may find it difficult to laugh at some of the gags sometimes fat (Jamel and the dog in particular).

A French comedy very honorable but short of what one would expect of Alain Chabat who had placed the bar pretty high a few years ago.

This has not been my case. I reasonably smiled or laughed at the jokes, absurd or very fat proposed by Shabat in a register to be quite respectful of what he could do in The Void (the fake ads, the mockery towards documentaries animal – with the voice of Chantal Lauby, moreover, etc.). However, some of the gags, even if effective, are sometimes heated : for example, the character of Jamel on a lama who does not want to move forward, furiously reminds the same kind of scene in Asterix and Obelix : Mission Cleopatra, where the same Jamel has exactly the same trouble with a donkey. If one can speak of reference sometimes it’s been downright repetition. THE surprise comedy of the film is the use of Lambert Wilson in a role completely against the employment, in a registry that is absurd, completely covered with a huge scene where he expresses all his passion for a singer well-known.

Overall, On the Trail of the Marsupilami is a French comedy very honorable, but is short of what one would expect of Alain Chabat who had placed the bar pretty high a few years ago with Asterix and Obelix : Mission Cleopatra or The City of Fear (with his gang of Dummies). You will also appreciate the respect and the rendering of the character of Marsupilami in itself as well as the few references to the author in the film. In short, a good time of relaxation, but once out of the room, houba-houba do will resonate over a very long time in our heads…

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