Spotted in the Jamel Comedy Club and confirmed by two one-man-shows and increasingly substantial roles in the cinema, the comedian from Laudun-l’Ardoise, near Bagnols, in the Gard, Malik Bentalha takes a step important with “Jack Mimoun and the secrets of Val Verde”. He is the co-director, co-writer and star of this old-school adventure comedy!
Malik Bentalha in Indiana Jones, you had to think about it. And you had to dare. They thought about it and dared something else. They dared Jack Mimoun. But he’s not just anyone, Jack Mimoun, he’s a survivor of the impossible, and the impossible is called Val Verde, a wild island, isolated, inhospitable, to put it mildly-hostile- tumors. Except that he came back from it and he built his legend on this feat.
After having told the story in a book that has become a bestseller, he (on) now plays the adventurers in a successful television show. It is there that Aurélie Diaz (Joséphine Japy, radiant and energetic), the daughter of a great archaeologist, contacts him in the hope that he agrees to accompany her in her quest for a legendary sword that once belonged to a pirate nicknamed “La Buse” and who would be, we give you a thousand, on Val Verde.
Jack Mimoun is not Indiana Jones
He gives in, and there they are quickly in the jungle with the reinforcement of Bruno Quézac, Jack’s pusillanimous manager (Jérôme Commandeur, hilarious), and Jean-Marc Bastos, a mercenary who is ultra fast with the trigger and ultra slow with comprehension ( François Damiens, finally employed to his full crazy potential)… Let’s go for the adventure. With one detail: Jack Mimoun is not Indiana Jones. No, not quite.
After a decade of increasingly substantial roles (for the most significant, Le Doudou by Julien Hervé and Until now everything is fine by Mohamed Hamidi), Malik Bentalha is moving on, so to speak, to serious things with this comedy of adventure of which he is at the same time the co-screenwriter, the co-director and the title character. “Rêve de gosse”, this film is a sincere and precise tribute from the comedian from Gard to the adventure films he has always adored.
A myriad of influences and winks in a smooth and funny adventure!
We obviously think of Steven Spielberg’s films produced by George Lucas (he wears Indy leather), but also those of Robert Zemeckis (the plane crashed in In pursuit of the green diamond), screenwriter Steven E. of Souza (Val Verde’s name appears in Commando, Predator and 58 minutes to live) as well as a whole host of more or less bis productions (Allan Quatermain, Benjamin Gates…). On the French side, the inspiration is just as much from Philippe De Broca (L’Homme de Rio) as from Francis Veber (La Chèvre, Le Jaguar…). In short, Malik Bentalha does not lack ambition, phew, his producers Eric and Nicolas Altmayer, either!
If Jack Mimoun’s plot is very classic, even agreed, the film turns out to be perfectly entertaining, well-camped, well-paced, punctuated with hilarious sequences (once again, Commander and Damiens are overheated here) and scenes of successful action, and superbly put in pictures. With the exception of a spider, and two tigers (we admit to having thought that the island of Val Verde was located on the side of South America, but we must have misunderstood), everything rings true. Even when it’s nicely fake (ah, the pirate’s lair…), it’s nicely envy, it’s nicely immersive. We want to believe in it like when we were a kid. Besides, we believe in it. Bet won, Malik Bentalha!
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