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« Avec LASCARS, la banlieue est loin d'être morose. » — Nicolas Schiavi, DVDRAMA
« Examen de passage sur grand écran amplement réussi pour une série d'animation télé qui non seulement conserve sa fraîcheur, son inventivité et son immense drôlerie, mais la décuple dans un tourbillon d'énergie fédératrice. » — Iris Mazzacurati, L'EXPRESS
Director: Albert Pereira-Lazaro, Emmanuel Klotz
Screenplay: Alexis Dolivet, Eldiablo, IZM, Emmanuel Klotz
Cast: Vincent Cassel, Diane Kruger, Omar & Fred, Gilles Lelouche, Diam's, IZM
Producers: Roch Lener, Philippe Gompel
Distributor: BAC Films
Real men don’t take vacations! José Frelate learns this the hard way when his friend Tony Merguez (voiced by Vincent Cassel) screws up their plans for a dream vacation in Santo Rico. Spending the summer in the projects is out of the question, so it’s no time to be slacking off. The ghetto’s “dream team” must make some big bucks to flee the rotten hole they live in, and fast. Through his cousin, José finds light work at a mansion owned by a slightly degenerate millionaire. Granted, assembling a Norwegian sauna with the help of a sniveling film brat that takes himself for the second coming of Spielberg can be frustrating, but it gives José an excuse to cozy up to the boss’s daughter, Clémence (Diane Kruger), who’s one hot number. Tony believes he’s outsmarted his friend when he teams up with Zoran, the local pusher. Running smack seems easy, but Tony soon gets himself into a pickle that will cause everyone to want his head on a platter, including his nympho girlfriend. Fortunately, José is there to get him out of trouble, even if it means jeopardizing his play for the new girl. What we wouldn’t do for a friend…
Through a series of bite-sized episodes that aired on Canal Plus, French audiences discovered animated universe of LASCARS. This side-splitting caricature of Parisian slum life, with its very adult humour and a local hip hop soundtrack, has met with resounding success on television for eight years. In light of the series’ popularity, the obvious next step for its creators was the transition to the big screen. It turned out to be a worthwhile decision, because LASCARS is one of the most refreshing animated features of the year. Directors Albert P. Lazaro and Manu Klotz deftly avoid the traps of adapting a TV series for cinemas with an action-packed script that doesn’t rely on familiarity with the show to be appreciated. LASCARS tosses its gleeful audience into this ghetto populated with characters as laughable as they are moving, bickering back and forth with incredible dialogues made up of slang straight out of bestselling French rap albums. The meticulous, graffiti-style animation recalls the films of Ralph Bakshi, who also dealt with daft and delirious urban grit. Hilarious from beginning to end, LASCARS is the film to see with good buddies eager to avoid another crappy evening at home!