VOD film review: Coincoin and the Extra Humans
James R | On 29, Jul 2020
Director: Bruno Dumont
Cast: Alane Delhaye, Philippe Jore
Watch Coincoin and the Extra Humans online in the UK: Curzon Home Cinema
Two policemen in northern France try to solve a string of small-town murders. That was the premise of P’tit Quinquin back in 2014, but Bruno Dumont’s procedural oddity was far from, well, procedural; the blackly comic outing was part farce, part weirdness. The bizarre four-part series, released as a two-part film in the UK, was rooted in its central cast – Bernard Pruvost’s Van Der Weyden and Philippe Jore’s Carpentier – so it’s only fitting that they should again anchor this unexpected sequel.
We join them as their town is invaded not by criminals, but by aliens, and there’s something in the over-arching notion of being scared of aliens and immigrants. Even Quinquin (Alane Delhaye) – now grown up slightly and going by the name “Coincoin” – is spending his time posting leaflets for a right-wing party. (His sweetheart, Eve – Lucy Caron – is now in a relationship with farm worker Corinne, leaving him lovesick.)
But satire isn’t really the aim of the game here, even as Dumont presents his themes with a grim, stoic deadpan. The aliens, in an Invasion of the Body Snatchers-inspired move, take over the local residents, by compelling them to fart out their own doppelgangers – a sure sign that this is to be taken less seriously than the murders in P’tit Quinquin. The farcical silliness only increases from there, as Carpentier drives around his car on two wheels and alien goo randomly drops from the sky and lands on people’s faces like gigantic heavenly cowpats.
All the while, Bernard Pruvost’s beleaguered captain is wonderfully eccentric, managing to balance the slapstick and the straight-faced tone with a skill that could easily be overlooked. Again a four-parter released here in two parts, the first half serves as an amiable reminder that Dumont’s unusual comedy is an acquired taste. For those who have acquired it, though, this is a gently entertaining diversion.