The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (film)

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

French film poster
Directed by Luc Besson
Produced by Virginie Besson-Silla
Screenplay by Luc Besson
Based on "Adèle and the Beast" and "Mummies on Parade"
by Tardi[1][2]
Narrated by Bernard Lanneau[3]
Music by Éric Serra
Cinematography Thierry Arbogast
Edited by Julien Rey[4]
Distributed by EuropaCorp[5]
Release dates
  • 9 April 2010 (2010-04-09) (Brussels)
  • 14 April 2010 (2010-04-14)
Running time
107 minutes[6]
Country France[4]
Language French
Budget €25 million[7]
Box office $34.1 million[8]

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (French: Les Aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec), released as Adèle: Rise of the Mummy in Malaysia and Singapore,[9] is a 2010 French fantasy adventure feature film written and directed by Luc Besson. It is loosely based on the comic book series of the same name by Jacques Tardi and, as in the comic, follows the eponymous writer and a number of recurring side characters in a succession of far-fetched incidents in 1910s Paris and beyond, in this episode revolving around parapsychology and ultra-advanced Ancient Egyptian technology, which both pastiche and subvert adventure and speculative fiction of the period. The primarily live-action film, shot in Super 35,[10] incorporates much use of computer animation to portray its fanciful elements and contemporary action film special and visual effects within the form of the older-style adventure films they have largely superseded.


The film incorporates characters and events from several of the albums, in particular the first, "Adèle and the Beast," first published in 1976, and the fourth, 1978's "Mummies on Parade,"[1] within an overall plot of Besson's construction and takes place primarily in Paris, France, circa 1912.[2]

While experimenting with the telepathic techniques he has been researching, Professor Espérandieu hatches a 136 million year-old pterosaur egg within the Galerie de paléontologie et d'anatomie comparée, resulting in the death of a former prefect (scandalously sharing a taxicab with a Moulin rouge showgirl) which though witnessed only by the then-drunk Choupard sparks an epidemic of claimed sightings of the creature. The President of France orders the case be considered of utmost urgency by the National Police, only for it to be handed down to the bumbling Inspector Albert Caponi.

Adèle Blanc-Sec, a journalist and travel writer of some fame, finds herself involved after returning from Egypt, where she was searching for Ramesses II's mummified doctor/physician Patmosis. She wants to revive the mummy with the help of Espérandieu so the doctor can save her sister Agathe, who is comatose following an unfortunate tennis incident involving a hatpin. After a brief struggle with her nemesis, the mysterious Professor Dieuleveult, she retrieves the mummy and returns home. Her mission is complicated further by Esperandieu being on death row, having been blamed for the pterosaur's attacks, in lieu of Inspector Caponi and celebrity big game hunter Justin de Saint-Hubert having any success in taking down the beast itself. Andrej Zborowski, a researcher at the Jardin des Plantes who is enamored with Adèle, is able to lure the pterosaur into hiding. Adèle, riding the pterosaur, rescues Esperandieu moments before his execution.

Saint-Hubert fatally shoots the pterosaur along with Esperandieu, but not before Esperandieu is able to revive the mummy. The mummy ends up being the Pharaoh's physicist ("I'm a nuclear physicist. I deal in figures, signs and equations.") and is unable to help her sister medically. He does, however, accompany Adèle to the Musée du Louvre, where they revive the rest of the Pharaoh's mummified court on display there, including the Pharaoh himself. The Pharaoh's doctor uses their advanced medical techniques to revive Agathe. The Pharaoh then decides he wants to see Paris, so the entire court wanders out into the night, scaring the ever-hapless Choupard yet again.

Adèle decides she needs a vacation to relax. The final scene shows her boarding a ship, and the camera pans out to reveal the name of the ship, the RMS Titanic. Dieuleveult is then shown, maliciously smiling.

In a mid-credits scene, Ménard pursues Saint-Hubert with a rifle, still outraged that Saint-Hubert shot the pterosaur. Ménard is arrested by Caponi as two gorillas stare menancingly at Saint-Hubert.



The film received positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 83% based on reviews from 24 critics.[11]

Variety magazine called the film a "polished comicbook adaptation" and praised the performance of Louise Bourgoin's as the titular heroine. The reviewer complains that Besson's work is uneven, and the reviewer suggests that Besson would benefit from fresh collaborative voices, and a scissors for the overlong third act.[12]

Angie Errigo of Empire magazine gave the film 4 stars, proclaiming that "Besson is back".[13] Matthew Turner of ViewLondon gave the film 5 stars and called it "Impressively directed and beautifully designed, this is a highly entertaining and frequently funny action-adventure romp with a witty script, great special effects and a terrific central performance from rising star Louise Bourgoin".

Home media

Shout! Factory released a censored PG-rated version of the film in the United States on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in August 2013. An unedited director's cut Blu-ray followed in October.[14]

See also


  1. 1 2 Thomas, G.W. "Adèle Blanc-Sec (1976–1998) by Jacques Tardi". The Ghostbreakers. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  2. 1 2 "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec" (PDF) (Press release). EuropaCorp. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  3. "Full cast and crew for Les Aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  4. 1 2 "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec". uniFrance. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  5. "Official trailer" (in French). EuropaCorp. 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  6. "LES AVENTURES EXTRAORDINAIRES D'ADELE BLANC-SEC - THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ADELE BLANC-SEC (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  7. "Box office / business for The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)". Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  8. "Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adčle Blanc-Sec (The Extraordinary Adventures of Adčle Blanc-Sec) (2010)". Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  9. "Adèle: Rise of the Mummy". Yahoo! Malaysia Movies. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  10. "Technical specifications for Les Aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  11. "Adčle Blanc-Sec". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  12. Mintzer, Jordan (18 April 2010). "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec". Variety. PMC.
  14. "'Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec' coming to Blu-ray". Los Angeles Times.
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