(In-flight, August 2010) One of the advantages of watching a film by a visual stylist is that there’s always something to enjoy even if the story itself isn’t that interesting. So it is that Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs is at the same time a typical Jeunet production (quirky characters, ever-shifting visual presentation, elaborate Rube-Goldenesque details, intricate cinematographic polish, etc.) and yet far short of career-best Amélie. There just isn’t enough universally-compelling material in here to keep things interesting, especially when it feels so one-sided in favour of its protagonists. The anti-arms-trade message is heartfelt, but becomes too-obvious at its worst. Still, it’s entertaining to watch, in no small part due to the escalating set-pieces in which events are set in motion with grandiose consequences. It flies past smoothly and its visual audacity is terrific. There are a few laughs, but much of the film is just a joy to watch. A word of warning for francophones watching the film’s original sound-track, though: Micmacs is so deeply set in Parisian argot that non-Parisians may find it more useful to turn on the English sub-title track to understand some of the dialogue.