Thursday, April 14, 2016

A teeming helping of animated sci-fi

April and the Extraordinary World immerses us in a fully realized and often ominously animated world. Directors Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci create an alternate universe in which the world runs on coal, and France and the US battle over this precious, but environmentally destructive resource. In this imaginary version of history -- spelled out in the movie's prologue -- the grim industrialized landscapes of Europe provide an intricately detailed backdrop for a young woman's adventure. April (Marion Cotillard) tries to continue the work of her scientist parents, a couple who disappears early on. April searches for a "universal serum" that will make living creatures invincible. The story unfolds in entertaining fashion, but even if you don't like sci-fi, you should be taken by the movie's rampant display of imagination, which includes a Parisian cityscape marked by two Eiffel Towers. You'll also find mutant dragons that have captured the world's scientists and a talking cat named Darwin. Never mind whether any of this makes sense; April and the Extraordinary World, based on the graphic novels of French master Jacques Tardi, has been slotted in the sci-fi sub-genre known as steampunk, but it's not necessary to classify this highly creative work to be swept up in its invention. The version I saw was in French with English subtitles.

No comments: