CoinCoin and the Extra-Humans

Five years after Police Chief Van Der Weyden (Bernard Pruvost) failed to solve a series of murders in Nord-Pas-de-Calais while being bedeviled by L'il QuinQuin (Alane Delhaye), he faces a far more serious challenge when alien gunk falls from the sky and begins to create pod people out of the locals. QuinQuin, now the teenaged CoinCoin, falls for the daughter of a nationalistic right-wing organizer while still pining for childhood sweetheart Eve (Lucy Caron), now in a lesbian relationship with farmhand Corinne (Priscilla Benoist) which perplexes the town as much as the African immigrants plunge them into panic in "CoinCoin and the Extra-Humans."

Laura's Review: B

If "L'il QuinQuin," like this a four part mini-series made for French television, explored themes of provincial racism, organized religion and small town scandal, writer/director Bruno Dumont's sequel gives us more of the same while switching genres from the murder mystery to science fiction and adding France's rising nationalistic Bloc to the town's issues. This follow-up brings back the large cast of mostly non-professional actors, even returning some of the dead as zombies, as well as the same loony humor, the filmmaker chiding himself for its repetition just as it begins to wear on us. It is not quite as satisfying as the first and will be even less so for those just coming aboard, but there is still much to enjoy in the warped wisdom of Van Der Weyden and the comical silent reactions of his trusty lieutenant Carpentier (Philippe Jore). The film opens with CoinCoin's dad screaming at him about his mentally disabled uncle Dany (Jason Cirot) in the family farm courtyard of Keatonesque slapstick. Carpentier's still driving the police car on two wheels, even after Van Der Weyden tells him it's long stopped being funny. The discovering of a bubbling, mucky puddle resembling an enormous cowpat has Van Der Weyden calling in his forensics team who quickly deduce it's not human, plant or animal. When night falls, we see a glowing diamond-shaped light emerge. It hovers over the field until it finds a human to descend upon, the first victim carnival drum major Maurice Lebleu (Christophe Verheecke), who falls to the ground as his stomach distends. He farts out a copy of himself (in a scene more Michel Gondry than Bruno Dumont). Van Der Weyden still vastly prefers chasing down traffic and permit violations, but is completely thrown when, questioning Corinne's driving, discovers she is female. 'That's the modern world, the Internet and all that,' he opines to Carpentier as he lets the women drive off. He's far less accommodating of the black African immigrants who've set up a camp in the dunes - whenever they approach, he points his gun at them (and yet Van Der Weyden's observation about nice words delivered at a distance show his insight into human nature). Aliens are insular Nord-Pas-de-Calais's biggest fear, reiterated by Dumont when CoinCoin and his buddy Fatso (Julien Bodard) refuse entry to a reporter outside D'Nis's (Nicolas Leclaire) political meeting. CoinCoin's pursuit of D'nis's 'niece' Jenny (Alexia Depret), a dour teen in short shorts and high wedges, results in a series of makeout sessions oddly mirrored in observer Fatso's noisy gum smacking. Pod citizens multiply, giving Van Der Weyden and Carpentier double vision until Van Der Weyden himself is cloned, his mispronunciation of his pod person self as 'clown' a running joke. By the time Eve's sister Aurélie (Lisa Hartmann) appears as a zombie (whose guttural groaning isn't matched to her mouth movements), Van Der Weyden is declaring the apocalypse, drawing his gun on one and all including himself. It is the African immigrants who defuse the situation, their raised arms beginning to clap, their chanting bringing the entire town into a marching sing-a-long as Dumont takes out his audience in a gull's gullet. Grade:

Robin's Review: D