Film Scouts Reviews

"Les Visiteurs (The Visitors)"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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Don't skip "The Visitors" just because it is French and has subtitles! You'll get used to it and this is one you won't want to miss. In France it is the highest grossing French film of all time and now you can pick it up at the video store. A 12th century knight and his trusted servant are sent to the 20th century by a senile wizard, so we get a dash of "Back to the Future". Co-written by Christian Clavier, who would seem to be a French Jerry Lewis/ Jim Carrey, there is a helping of physical comedy and also a dollop of farce. Since Clavier and others play dual parts there is even a smattering of Lily Tomlin's "Big Business" - mistaken identity.

What makes it work is Jean Reno as the knight and Clavier as the servant. You may remember Reno from the "The Professional", "Mission Impossible", or "French Kiss". He has no trouble convincing us that he is an aristocrat, intent on returning to his castle (which is now a hotel) while battling cars and the limited thinking of his descendants. I'm usually not too fond of Three Stooges humor but Clavier does it with such a wink and nod to the audience that you just can't help but laugh. A sequel to "The Visitors" is currently in production in France, and an American version starring Reno and Clavier is also in the works. But why wait? Be the first to enjoy "The Visitors" and pass it along to like-minded friends. Rated R.

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