HomeMovie ReviewSmoking Causes Coughing Assessment: Quentin Dupieux’s Superhero Parody

Smoking Causes Coughing Assessment: Quentin Dupieux’s Superhero Parody

The “Rubber” filmmaker serves up a droll superhero satire, right here a couple of band of spandex-clad nitwits often called the Tobacco Drive.

French filmmaker Quentin Dupieux has nearly by no means steered us unsuitable along with his droll satires like psychokinetic horror film “Rubber,” a couple of murderous anthropomorphic tire, awards season satire “Actuality,” or insectoid comedy “Mandibles.”

Along with his newest parody, “Smoking Causes Coughing,” the zany maestro also referred to as Mr. Oizo takes a puff off Marvel and different superhero IP by centering his weird comedy on a band of spandex-clad dimwits often called the Tobacco Drive. It’s as constantly stunning and deranged a film as any from his output, even when not for all tastes, which he is aware of.

The ridiculously named fivesome are made up of Benzene (Gilles Lellouche), Nicotine (Anaïs Demoustier), Methanol (Vincent Lacoste), Mercury (Jean-Pascal Zadi), and Ammonia (Oulaya Amamra). We first meet them by happenstance, following a household on a street journey who bump into them battling a large, rubber-made tortoise.

Every little thing seems to be tacky by design, with Justine Pearce’s costumes stretching over-the-top artifice to its limits because of the large, hulking tortoise, who explodes after the chain-smoking superhero squad finally ends up giving him most cancers. The struggle ends disastrously, with everybody lined in buckets of blood and viscera (a nifty dumping of B-horror particular results).

Their chief, who wires in by way of video convention, is a speaking puppet rat who spews inexperienced ooze and has poor work-life steadiness, because the unidentified lady within the mattress subsequent to him factors out. Ammonia occurs to be in love with him, which complicates their office dynamics in a while. The rat feels just like the Tobacco Drive is turning into too “individualistic” of their decision-making, and so he sends them on a retreat as an train in team-building.

Smoking Causes Coughing

“Smoking Causes Coughing”

Courtesy Magnolia Footage

The retreat mutates “Smoking Causes Coughing” into one other film completely, with the fivesome swapping “scary tales” over a campfire. One includes two {couples} (together with Adèle Exarchopoulos in a hilariously ill-suited Frankenbang wig) on a trip the place a “thought helmet” discovered at their Airbnb from the Nineteen Thirties turns one of many wives right into a depressed mute, confronting the futility of existence and her personal marriage, after which a psychopathic killer out of a slasher film.

One other finds a sorry younger man floor up in a wooden chipper from the waist up, however who feels no ache, and winds up a disembodied pair of lips floating in a bucket of blood. One among his colleagues places a cigarette between his lips in one of many film’s most brutally humorous moments. Dupieux handles his personal cinematography, capturing the film in a washed-out gentle that offers the proceedings an inexpensive, “Energy Rangers”-like really feel. (And that’s actually abetted by the ridiculous Tobacco Drive costumes.)

Interrupting the alternate of vignettes is a small lady (Thémis Terrier-Thiebaux) who occurs upon their campsite. She’s not impressed by their storytelling and guarantees she has a narrative even extra harrowing to share. Looming within the backdrop is the supervillain Lizardin, who heads up a grotesque fleet of quasi-humans lined in scaly puke-green lesions. His plan is world domination. “I’m destroying a sick planet, I’m placing a sick planet out of its distress.” Why? “As a result of Earth just isn’t fascinating.” And on the inevitable world’s finish, there’s nothing to do however sit and chainsmoke anyway.

Baked into “Smoking Causes Coughing” is a way of pointlessness mirrored in such exchanges. Dupieux has a shruggingly ambivalent angle towards life in all his movies, and weird occasions unfold with a type of eerily vacant nonchalance. The director has assured “Smoking Causes Coughing” to be, oddly, his first movie to be really linked to actuality. It’s additionally an easygoing piece of leisure that evenly riffs on and spoofs the acquainted cheese of Marvel and DC IP. He’s enjoying with the style whereas additionally flexing its tropes to disclose their inherent ridiculousness.

Attempting to clarify “Smoking Causes Coughing” is like recounting a dream: The individual listening won’t care, and it won’t imply something to them, however it leaves a weirdly unforgettable impression on the spectator.

Grade: B

“Smoking Causes Coughing” is now in choose theaters and on demand from Magnolia Footage.

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