Micmacs, a new film from the wonder team of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant (though where was Marc Caro?), is visually delicious, delightfully quirky, and deceptively loaded. OK, that constitutes sort of a pun, sorry.
Some critics noted that it's lighter on substance than previous works from these creative types, and that's true, however I wouldn't consider the film less worthwhile for glossing over a lot of potentially rich minutia when zeroing in so frequently and comedic on much seemingly extraneous microscopic cosmetic detail. I think most comedies delve into the realm of character development through presenting obstacles and predicaments mundane, absurd, or super-sized convoluted just to see how the characters react, leverage, adapt, or fail too. Maybe that describes all drama, the risk of broad sweeping generalizations. This one ticks along smoothly with the protagonist's gang / family always seemingly balancing between having everything under control while at the same time perpetually on the verge of spinning out of control, much like films I adored growing up like the The Sting or many Jerry Lewis / Dean Martin capers. Remember when Jerry raced a snail? Though fret not, Micmacs has no wince-inducing, "Hey Lady!" moments, just good clean fun with nary a pause to get too deeply intellectually invested and loads of clever beats that illicit a hearty laugh or a healthy tug at the ol' heart strings.
What I would and could wish for is more and deeper penetration into the psyches of the supporting cavalcade of characters. They really only get enough quirks and novelty to help them read well as functional supporting teammates, yet at the end of the film I felt a lot of the protagonist's new family remain unresolved. True, that's life, yet I expect more from the creators of this than I do from say an Adam Sandler movie. For sure, this looked better and had loads of wonderful gags and turns, and without a doubt the evil villains were undeniably evil and made to pay quite deliciously, much like the end of Earnest Goes to Camp or Real Genius, really.
And here's a trivia question I don't have an answer for: How many comedic or films otherwise have resolved through exposing a bad guy / entity through playing a recorded snippet of sound, video, or smell for the public at large while the villain(s) & sharks get caught (out) flat footed / finned? I know there's a bunch, yet I'm drawing a blank thins second.
Any rate, love the film though I would like to see the creators of it, and their esteemed friends, bring forth some more deep, layered, and potentially subversive cinema on par with the films they've created or touched, and not just the screenwriting and directing, I mean the aft direction, the cinematography, the wealth of actors that reappear in so many of the films. Maybe you've seen Delicatessen or Amelie. Have you seen any of the other films they've been a part of, big or small? Art direction on AccionMutante , blew the load on City of the Lost Children, advised on Ugliest Woman in the World... go read up on these cats and the cats they work with on IMDB and Wiki, trust me, a veritable plethora of fine cinema awaits your drying eyes.