MICMACSGreen lightThe latest delightfully screwy French film to be lacquered with the flaky aesthetic finesse we’ve come to expect from director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children, Amélie) is a loopy take on a league of heroes story, driven by a character who has a bullet lodged in his brain and can die at any moment.

Mild-mannered video store clerk Bazil (Dany Boon) becomes unemployed, homeless and a social outcast after getting an unlucky chunk of lead in the head. With nowhere else to go he joins a crew of underground mischief makers, each of whom are equipped with a peculiar talent: there is the woman who is amazingly good at calculation (Marie-Julie Baup); the contortionist who can squeeze into fridges and suitcases (Julie Ferrier); the expert lock picker (Omar Sy) and others. It’s like a League of Extraordinary Weirdos.

It takes a little while for Jeunet to find his pace, but when the film hits its rhythm the good times never relent. A breezy mishmash of high jinx ensues as the motley crew of heroes take on two nefarious weapons manufacturers by cleverly confecting a war between them via a series of pranks and ruses. Jeunet’s grasp of whimsy is sharp and gloriously kooky, rolling out an assembly of droll scenes emboldened by a memorable cast in full tilt quirky mode. MICMACS is not on the same level as Amélie, Delicatessen or The City of Lost Children (the latter of which Jeunet co-directed with Marc Caro) but it’s great fun – a crowd pleasing French gem loaded with laughs and smarts.

MICMACS’s Australian theatrical release date: April 1, 2010.