Monday, March 27, 2023

Smoking Causes Coughing (2022) opens Friday and plays The Overlook Film Festival 2023, MAKE BELIEVE SEATTLE 2023, Boston Underground 2023

Quentin-Dupieuxis at it again with his wildly all over the place SMOKING CAUSES COUGHING, nominally a spoof of shows like Power Rangers and comics like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The film has a group of superheroes being sent on a weeklong retreat to get their teamwork back after their latest battle against a mansized turtle takes longer than expected. As they camp they begin to tell ghost stories, with the result the superhero film morphs into Tales From The Crypt.

This is both one of Dupieux's best films and his least satisfying The best part comes via some of the most wickedly funny bits the director has ever put on film. The jokes and riffs here are pretty much all on target with the result you will be constantly laughing. The worst part is from the fact that ultimately most of this either doesn’t end or goes now where. Only one horror story about a helmet and the story told by the little girl end. Everything else, even the film itself just sort of stops (as the post credit sequence hammers home)

I really liked the bit here but I really wish there was an ending. This feels like --- had a whole closetful of ideas and just put them into a film because he could. Think THE BALLAD OF BISTER SCRUGGS from the Cohen Brothers.

It’s definitely worth a look because the ride is so good, but just be ready to be disappointed when the film flames out in the end.

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