Introducing five superheroes who form Tobacco Force- an anti-cigarette crime-fighting group who skillfully use negative energy from tobacco as a weapon against their enemies. They are the coolest ‘avengers’ in the entire world and are known for defending and protecting the Earth from various villains and evil. More importantly, they are passionate about saving lives by telling others they should never smoke, claiming it sucks and causes you to cough.
After battling a monstrous Tortoise creature, the Tobacco Force receive a conference call from Chef Didier, who has unpleasant news. Chef Didier claims that the meta-data from their most recent missions shows that team cohesion has considerably weakened. Some of the members of the team are becoming increasingly independent. To maintain performance and harmony, the team is sent to a retreat for the next couple of days which Chef hopes will boost and reignite the team’s spirits. They may have just won a battle against a giant Tortoise, but the war is far from over, as their next opponent will be more ferocious. Rumour has it that their ultimate enemy, Lézardine, now has plans to destroy the Earth. Can Tobacco Force rekindle their spirits and become a stronger team before our world becomes dust?
Smoking Causes Coughing is a witty comedy with random gags and spoof-like humour. Director Quentin Dupieux (known for films such as Rubber, Deerskin, and Incredible But True) has once again delivered a movie filled with random and ridiculous moments and new concepts that have never been done before in cinema. Dupieux once again reminds viewers that anything can happen and that there are no limits to the level of brainless entertainment or ridiculousness. The question of what if superheroes became so disjointed they needed to take time out and attend a retreat to obtain unity again is a great concept that instantly seems silly and highly laughable.
Not only is this film a comedy with superhero themes, but there are also several aspects, themes and moments which are unexpected and will sometimes feel entirely out of the left field. One example is when our leading heroes share their scariest stories around a campfire. For viewers, we are taken out of the current film and invited to experience moments that are either horrifying, shocking, creepy or, again, extremely comedic. The opening, in which we see our superheroes fighting a giant Tortoise, sets viewers up for what’s in store, and everything starts with excitement and fun. The story proceeds in a different direction than you think it should.
When it comes to creativity, there is so much to admire. The costumes of the Tobacco Force, which are worn throughout the entire film, look fantastic. Visual effects relating to monsters, technology, blood, gore etc., are also excellent, and it seems evident that the likes of Marvel’s Avengers and Power Rangers have inspired this film. Gags relating to technology, I’ll admit, also surprised me, such as the concept of a supermarket fridge or the introduction of Norbert the Robot, who serves as a companion and helper to the Tobacco Force.
Overall, director Quentin Dupieux reminds the world of cinema that he is the king of all things ridiculous, laughable, and unpredictable. Once again, we have a new concept that has never been done before with the Tobacco Force superheroes who must go on retreat to rekindle their team spirits. With inspiration that seems to come from Marvel’s Avengers and Power Rangers combined, Smoking Causes Coughing delivers a great time, fun creativity, brainless entertainment, shocking moments of horror, great sci-fi and a high level of unpredictability from start to finish. Fans of the Director’s previous work (like myself!) will know exactly what they are getting themselves into, and once again, I wasn’t disappointed. Instead, I was left feeling freshly “lit’.