Smoking Causes Coughing

Director: Quentin Dupieux
Year Released: 2022
Rating: 3.0

The Tobacco Force - a team of superheroes consisting of Benzène (Gilles Lellouche), Methanol (Vincent Lacoste), Nicotine (Anaïs Demoustier), Mercure (Jean-Pascal Zadi) and Ammoniaque (Oulaya Amamra) - are instructed by their drooling rat leader Chief Didier (voiced by Alain Chabat), who looks like Master Splinter after a four-year bender, that they need to improve their morale before facing off against villain Lézardin (Benoît Poelvoorde) ... so they go on a retreat to "bond."  Notorious prankster/musician Dupieux, who's easily one of the most idiosyncratic voices working in film, is doing a send-up of the big-budget comic book movies (and a little Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and although it feels lackadaisical and unfocused a good deal of the time (because that's his intention), it does consistently thwart audience expectations.  There's a darkly hilarious sequence where a barracuda being cooked on an open flame tells a story about a young man caught in a chipper/shredder ... and even the ending of that gets interrupted.  It finishes out on a note of existential dread: things aren't looking great, so smoke 'em if you got 'em.