(director/writer: Quentin Dupieux; cinematographer: Quentin Dupieux; editor: Quentin Dupieux; music: Metronomy; cast: Grégoire Ludig (Manu), David Marsais ( Jean-Gab), India Hair (Cécile),  Adèle Exarchopoulos (Agnes), Roméo Elve (Serge), Coralie Russier (Sandrine), Bruno Lochet (Gilles), Raphaël Quenard (Raimondo), Gaspard Augé (Security Agent), Thomas Blanchard (Gendarme 2), Philippe Dusseau (Michel Michel), Olivier Blanc (Majordome), Jean-Paul Solal (Maître Wolf), Jézabel Marques (Madame Wolf), Marie Narbonne (FIlle Wolf); Runtime: 77; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Hugo Selignac, Vincent Mazel: Magnet Releasing/CB Films; 2020-France/Belgium-in French with English subtitles)

“It goes from the mundane to the weird with just a slight buzz.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A slick comedy farce made by French absurdist filmmaker Quentin Dupieux (“Rubber”/”Deerskins”). We follow a couple of petty criminals, dolts, Manu (Grégoire Ludig) and Jean-Gab (David Marsais), who find a large housefly (the size of an average dog) in the trunk of their stolen rusty Mercedes. The boys are to be paid 500 euros for a simple drop-off of a suitcase, when Jean-Gab wonders if they can train the fly to serve as a drone during bank robberies and make big money from it.

The boys on a deserted road hijack the trailer of an old man (Bruno Lochet) and rough him up, as they need the trailer to train the fly. But then the trailer accidentally burns down.

Back on the road in southern France, the boys land at a seaside villa and fall for the attractive and rich girl Cécile (India Hair), who mistakes Manu for someone she slept with in high school. Agnès (Adèle Exarchopoulos), the cook, is not impressed with the boys and voices her suspicions about them not being all that kosher. But because Agnès was injured in a ski accident, she can only speak by shouting and is viewed as a tragic figure not someone taken seriously (which is meant to be taken as something that’s too bad for society).

It’s a tense and understated film about observations and filled with pathos, as the naughty boys are supposedly viewed as fun-loving but unethical regular guys, who travel together as buddies through their messy lives. But while doing some nasty things on this trip, it makes us question what they’re about even if the filmmaker seems unconcerned.

The ugly CGI fly makes us about as uncomfortable as the movie makes us feel stupid for laughing at such crap, as it goes from the mundane to the weird with just a slight buzz.

REVIEWED ON 12/26/2021  GRADE: B-