Fifth about The Seventh

Smoking Causes Coughing (Fumer Fait Tousser)

Smoking Causes Coughing: Quentin Dupieux embraces the silliness of the concept; this is, after all, a satire of old Japanese superhero serials, which are quite silly to start with. The film, however, goes in an unexpected direction when it shifts the focus from the absurd monster-fighting quintet to the scary stories they tell. Those episodes, completely self-contained, are amusing and absurd enough, but the lack of focus on any group of characters turns out to be more detrimental. The large cast is game for the absurd material: Oulaya Amamra and Anaïs Demoustier, as the two female members of the superhero squad, and Blanche Gardin, as the protagonist of one of the scary stories, are the ones that fare slightly better. Visually, the film is as purposedly tacky as it can get: the uniforms (by costume designer Justine Pearce), the monsters they fight, the practical effects, the gore and blood effects (of which there is a lot), the interior of their base (by production designer Joan Le Boru).

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