Manu (Grégoire Ludig) is asleep in his sleeping bag on the beach until he is approached by a familiar face and asked to do a secret job. The job requires Manu to drive a suitcase to a private location. If he completes the task, he will instantly be rewarded with five hundred dollars in cash. Manu accepts; however, there’s just one problem, he doesn’t own a car! Manu decides he will steal one. He finds a rundown vehicle, hot-wires it, and begins the job he was hired to complete.
When he begins driving on his journey, Manu decides to invite his best friend Jean-Gab (David Marsais) along, as having a friend around could be handy if the job gets ugly. While driving, both Manu and Jean-Gab begin to hear a strange loud noise that sounds like buzzing. Is it the car engine? A flat tyre? Nope. Whatever it is, it’s coming from the boot of the car. Upon investigating, they discover a large fly in the boot! Soon, this pair of dull-witted mates decide that instead of completing the job they were hired to do, what if they train the fly to do all sorts of cool tricks and stunts instead? Maybe an introduced fly could be a sideshow appearance which Manu and Jean-Gab could make a fortune out of. Training commences; however, the pair only find themselves tackling one problem after the next, making their new goals quite challenging.
If you’ve been following me and this site for a while now, you’ll know that I am a massive fan of everything Quentin Dupieux. In Mandibles, writer and director Dupieux delivers something new and exciting yet again. Have you witnessed a large fly used in a comedy feature? I think not. Mandibles is best described as an outrageous comedy and is filled with random and unexpected moments. Most of the gags here come from our leads finding themselves in multiple wild and ridiculous situations, telling poor lies and continually making stupid choices (especially the lead character, Manu). Both characters seem never to catch a break as things go wrong. As situations worsen, bigger laughs are naturally had from the audience. Outcomes, including the third act, are highly unpredictable and packed with surprises.
Overall, have you ever seen a film that consists of two dull-witted blokes discovering a large fly in the boot of a stolen car? No? Me neither until now. One of my favourite directors, Quentin Dupieux, yet again brings a new concept to life that cinephiles have never experienced. The comedy is wacky, slightly dark, and perhaps silly, and I found it impossible not to laugh out loud several times, given just how funny and witty the film is. Dupieux even drops an unpredictable third act and combines it with a touching heart message to wrap up the wacky journey. Don’t let the opportunity of experiencing this film ‘fly’ by; seek it out today. Mandibles (2020) is Now Available on Digital (Including SBS on Demand – Limited Time Only*).