A Monster In Paris FILM REVIEW

Born flea

A trip to the cinema in A Monster In Paris.

They soon regretted buying tickets for The Human Centipede 2.

Release Date: 27 January 2012
U | 90 minutes
Distributor: Entertainment One
Director: Bibo Bergeron
Cast: Vanessa Paradis, Sean Lennon, Adam Goldberg, Jay Harrington, Danny Huston

We don’t give away plot points lightly, but this time we think we owe it to our readers. The “Monster” of the title isn’t really a monster; it’s a giant-sized, gentle flea which bounces around Paris, and then learns to sing. Wearing a Phantom mask. In a nightclub. With the voice of Sean Lennon. Well, anything goes in animation…

A Monster In Paris is solidly staged and charmingly quirky, but be prepared for a few longueurs, mainly before the flea takes off. The film is aimed at children, but will appeal to fans of cartoon design too. The quaint period Paris, with its pearly mists, its rattletrap vehicles and its civilians in funny shapes and sizes, is delightful. So is the pairing of the flea and the nightclub singer who finds him; she has the sultry tones of French star Vanessa Paradis. It’s a shame that Monster’s release has coincided with Paradis receiving some rather catty attention from the world’s press (two words: Johnny Depp), but at least it may help to get the film noticed.

The film’s other double-act is less appealing: a couple of irritatingly fast-talking buddies who trigger the flea’s transformation. Also, the denouement is rather laboured and obvious, and could have done with some of the vinegar sharpness of Gallic animator Sylvain Chomet (Belleville Rendez-Vous). But as we wait for 2012’s more scary-looking stopmotion films – the zombie pic ParaNorman and Tim Burton’s FrankenweenieA Monster In Paris makes for a pleasant hors d’oeuvre.

Andrew Osmond

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