After Hero Corp, Simon Astier returns to our screens with his new series. Under the Warner TV banner, the director and screenwriter is this time interested in extraterrestrial life. Critical.
Since the end ofHero Corp in 2017, Simon Astier was rather discreet. The actor and director made a foray into Netflix, to direct a few episodes of the series Mortals.
5 years after the conclusion of the adventures of John, Klaus and Doug, he returns this time with a work that he carries at arm’s length, from writing to directing, and even in front of the camera. The one-man band strikes again. What is his new symphony worth Visitors ? Critical.
Did you say weird?
In 2019, Warner TV is launching a call for projects in France. With the desire to establish themselves on French territory, the studios are looking for their mother ship. It’s Simon Astier wins the bet with his series Visitors. Now it finally lands on our screens.
In the small town of Pointe-Claire, Richard is about to spend his first day in the forces of order, but the welcome reserved for him is not the warmest. The same evening, two strange lights collided in the sky, one of them seems to have crashed on the farm of the filthy John Collins. That’s when mysterious events occur in the city…
Simon Astier confided it during Series Mania in Lille, he was fed with SF films of the 80s. His series therefore intends to pay tribute to Spielberg’s filmography, which particularly nourished his story. He distils a few more or less subtle references, from riding in the basket of a bicycle to the viscous substances that flow from the taps, the screenwriter has fun with the visual elements and the clichés of American cinema to build his pastiche.. X Files, AND or Alienthe winks are numerous.
A retro and neon imagery that works wonderfully, and which helps to make Visitors an unidentified object of the French panorama. It must be said that under the Warner Bros banner, the means allocated to this production are all the greater than those from which it was able to benefit with Hero Corp.
An invoice finally rather well put to use, with anachronistic sets and costumes as desired. On the digital effects side, Visitors on the other hand is not very greedy and that’s good.
In the first 4 episodes that were presented to us, no burn of the retina is to be deplored. Simon Astier prefers to put the tangible in the supernatural, with slimy and greenish creatures, reminiscent of the first hours of genre cinema.
Meet new guys
Visitors is not only a foray into the strange, the series is also and above all a fable of characters. A gallery of dense protagonists who have benefited from meticulous and efficient writing. Simon Astier, very solemn, faces a host of admirably embodied comic opposites. A dynamic that we already found in Hero Corpbut still works just as well in this register.
Among the notable characters, we note the performance of Damien Jouillerot just every moment. A tender teddy that makes a perfect sidekick for the budding policeman played by Simon Astier. Other troublemakers gravitate around the main protagonist, starting with the irresistible Palmashow duo.
Thinly disguised caricature of Fox Mulder, David Marsais pays homage to the absurd score entrusted to him. Grégoire Ludig has a little less involvement, contenting himself with the role of unscrupulous presenter on the local television channel. Julie Bargeton and Tiphaine Daviot also come out with honors, but it is Delphine Baril who deserves the palme d’or. Hilarious, the actress portrays a boorish policewoman who makes us sketch a few frank smiles, with her language of chartier and her personality a bit schizophrenic.
In Simon Astier’s orchestra, no instrument is dissonant, allowing the director’s score to reach comedy heights. More tender moments are also on the program.
But who killed the Tacos vendor?
Simon Astier’s strength undoubtedly lies in his style of writing, his taste for hard-hitting dialogue. Yes Hero Corp had already given birth to cult replicas, Visitors promises to take the same path. The series is populated by verbal jousts, each more masterful than the next.
This inimitable style allows the series to gain capital sympathy as the episodes follow one another. On our side, we did not shy away from our pleasure even if the cursor is far from having been pushed as far as with Hero Corp. The film also reminds us of the finest hours of parody cinema, such as Who Killed Pamela Rose? of Kad and O or even The City of Fear Dummies. Astier gives birth to constant entertainment, a successful pastiche of a genre that we love.
Its rhythm is controlled, the twists are numerous, to the point that it is very difficult to wait for the continuation of the adventures of Richard and his companions. We will end quickly with the original music, composed on the synth by Polérik Rouvière. A retro and grating score, which completes the picture of Visitors.
The first four episodes of Visitors are a real success, it will be necessary to hope that the rest is of the same tenor. The series stands out as controlled entertainment, punctuated with SF references and brilliantly embodied by an interstellar cast.
The series will air from next may 10 via the Canal+ package. The first episode will be available to all non-subscribers from May 3.