The superhero genre has taken over cinemas and has made studios like Disney Sony and Warner Brothers a lot of money in the process. Smoking Causes Coughing is a superhero film that is unlike any I’ve seen before. There are a lot of different kinds of superheroes and these superheroes are French and fight crime with smoke or a variation of it. It’s from the filmmaker behind Rubber and Deerskin, Quenton Duprieux.
A group of five superheroes known as “the tobacco force” after defeating a villain called the tortoise their boss Chief Didier, a talking rat, suggests that they haven’t been working together enough and that they should go on a retreat to get more team chemistry again. So they go to a base along the shore of a lake. They tell stories by the campfire and get reacquainted with each other once again.
There is an aspect of the Power Ranger in this movie but that is as far as it goes. These heroes are nowhere as good or as cool as the Power Rangers. Even though their powers are smoke based to show how negative the reaction is as a weapon. It’s an anti-tobacco message. The costumes are cool but they never take them off. What superheroes never take their costumes off? These are just odd heroes. Maybe the fact that they are French makes sense in this regard. French culture is a little different from other people. No offense was given.
This director, Duprieux, has made some weird films in the past but this might be the weirdest of them all. As if a killer tire and a jacket that causes its owner to kill isn’t weird enough but these superheroes sit around and tell campfire stories that are pretty crazy. The stories are very odd and they take the viewer out of what could be a fascinating idea. Two of the stories are about a man who gets chopped up in a grinder and a woman who is taken over by a helmet and kills her friends.
I have never been a smoker and the message in the film about not smoking is a good one. The problem is the rest of the movie isn’t that good. The character development is very sparse and once some of that happens it’s too little too late. It’s like the writer/director had half an idea and filled in the rest with these weird horror stories. If he could have formulated an entire idea around these characters it may have been a better film all the way around.
Unfortunately, not all of the elements of this movie came together for me. I was rooting for it and the whole superhero idea of fighting crime using smoking as a weapon. The character development wasn’t very good and the writer/director Duprieux doesn’t do as good of a job as he did with Rubber and Deerskin. The whole Power Rangers vibe was cool but wasn’t enough to be a fully formulated idea. The campfire horror stories took me out of the whole superhero vibe.
Dan Skip Allen