FILM REVIEW / REVIEW – With “Jack Mimoun and the secrets of Val Verde” Malik Bentalha convinces both in front of and behind the camera for this funny and honest adventure comedy with his audience.
Malik Bentalha on all fronts to Jack Mimoun
We would not necessarily have bet on it, and yet, Jack Mimoun and the secrets of Val Verde is the good surprise on the side of French comedies. A comedy adventure to be more precise which allows Malik Bentalha to go behind the camera. The comedian and actor had so far mainly illustrated himself in rather schoolboy comedies. See him launch himself (with Ludovic Colbeau-Justin) in such a project was therefore all the more intriguing. Thus, in addition to co-directing the film, he is also its co-screenwriter (with Tristan Schulmann and Florent Bernard) and the main actor.
Because yes, it is he who embodies here Jack Mimoun, an ordinary man who has become a real celebrity after having survived for months on the island of Val Verde. On his return, he recounts his adventure in a book before launching his show – a kind of Man vs Wild.
But behind it all there is a less glorious truth what will discover at his expense Aurelie Diaz (Josephine Japy), who embarks him despite himself on a quest on the famous island of Val Verde, in the hope that he will help him find a legendary pirate sword. A duo completed by the equally unresourceful Bruno (Jerome Commander)Jack Mimoun’s agent, and Jean-Marc Bastos (Francois Damiens)a crazy, trigger-happy pilot.
Old school adventure comedy
There is in Jack Mimoun first of all a funny adventure film, rather than a parody of the genre. And that’s the good idea of the film. to offer us old fashioned workin an exotic landscape (we appreciate the natural settings in the middle of the jungle), Between The Man from Rio (1964) and In pursuit of the green diamond (1984)without forgetting winks to IndianaJones.
Obviously, Malik Bentalha being neither John Paul Belmondoneither Michael Douglas or Harrison Ford, he does not turn into a real hero but rather opts for the role of a scammer. An endearing scammer, who will find all the same over time a certain courage (and a lot of luck) to go through with this adventure.
A good team for this first
Jack Mimoun favors the absurd and the comic situation, without sinking into clumsy humor. From then on, Malik Bentalha managed to bring real freshness where American cinema has been most deplorable lately with this genre – like the mediocre The Secret of the Lost City. A funny film therefore, by the situations, the twists and above all a perfectly chosen cast.
Behind Malik Bentalha, there is the excellent comic duo formed by François Damiens and the hilarious Jérôme Commandeur, who answer each other tit for tat. For her part, Joséphine Japy, always fair, brings the band back to the adventure when necessary and manages to rise to the level of Malik Bentalha to appear as the co-heroine of the film.
However, one cannot hide the fact that Jack Mimoun and the secrets of Val Verde don’t be not so surprising, with in particular an expected revelation in the last act. But the film is to be taken above all as an unpretentious and honest family comedy with its audience.
Malik Bentalha does not seek to revolutionize the genre, nor comedy in general, but to correctly pay homage to these references known to several generations of spectators. This therefore implies certain defects (the predictable aspect), but which in no way spoil the final feeling. On the contrary, we even come to hope that this first adventure of Jack Mimoun not be the last.