Asterix and Obelix: Empire of the Middle Review

“We are in 50 BC. All of Gaul was occupied by the Romans… All of it? No! Because the village inhabited by merciless Gauls is resisting the invader. Life is not easy for the garrisons of Roman legionaries in the camps of Babaorum, Aquarium, Laudanum and Petibonum…”

You know the song, we’re sure. So we’re back at the Castle with Guillaume Canet’s new feature film. This time we are going to China. The director did not hesitate to bring out the heavy artillery for the new adventures of the two Gauls adored by the French. But behind its 5-star cast and true comic book aesthetic, Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom it sounds empty.

The shadow of a resounding successAsterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra still hangs over the saga. Alain Chabat clearly wants to repeat the success he achieved in 2002. But that’s far enough for the new opus. Twenty years later, and eleven years after his last work, the epic declines. And Middle Empire is not going to raise.

Visit China

First, let’s take a look at the synopsisAsterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom. For the first time, we have the rights to the original script and not to an adaptation of one of the albums.Asterix and Obelix. An opportunity that could bring a new life…

When the Empress of China is the victim of a coup, her daughter Princess Fu Yi goes to the famous village of her beloved Gauls to seek help. Of course, our brave warriors agree to go to China to free the empress and restore order.

Princess Fu Yi, Asterix and Obelix are not alone in this long journey that prepares great adventures for them. Idéfix is ​​of course in the game. There is also Tat Han, who protects the prince, and Grendemais, a Phoenician merchant who poses as Gaul for his business.

In general, Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom follows a solid road map. The plot of the story does not diverge from a straight path: the initial situation, the disturbing element, the adventures, the conclusion and the final situation. We can’t lie: the recipe works. The perfect family film, this new take on the cinematic adventures of Asterix and Obelix should entice kids… But those a little older.

Despite the original screenplay offering a certain freedom, the film fails to capitalize on it. Its characters struggle for depth over the course of two hours as part of the plot. Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom limits itself to the role of a family film, which should not go beyond that. Nevertheless, there is a certain poetry in the very childlike personalities of the heroes, but it is not revealed until the end. Sorry, a little late.

Bringing the beloved Gauls to China is also an opportunity to pay tribute to Asian culture. Battles are compelling, some scenesAsterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom Take us back to the drumming cult martial arts movies of Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan. Something that tickles fans of the genre.

Casting on steroids

Along with the original script, Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom it is the first film in the film saga without Gerard Depardieu as the veiled Gaul. The good news is that Gilles Lellouche has managed to pick up the torch brilliantly. If Gerard Depardieu was born Obelix, Lellouche’s comment is relevant. Whether in his manner of expression or in his facial expressions, we find the Obelix we adore. It’s a good time.

For his part, Guillaume Canet manages to proudly wear the costume of the little hero with a winged helmet. Not particularly surprising, without a catastrophic comment. As a result, he is far from being on the level of Christian Clavier in past works.

In this new adventure, Jonathan Cohen gets a choice seat. Only the one who made the whole of France laugh could participate in this comedy event. Even if there is no indigestion, the actor sticks to what he knows. We like it or we don’t. But it would be a matter of not pulling the strings too much…

With a decision, Guillaume Canet put the package of this film. Think of all the famous celebrities. This is a good ? Here it is all inside Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom. We’d love to exaggerate (and of course stretch the line a bit, we grant you that), but it’s the truth. Not surprisingly, the film’s budget is huge. Liked rappers, influencers or athletes on social media, almost all of them are there. But the problem is that they are rappers, influencers or athletes. Not the actors.

So yes, Jonathan Cohen is in, Vincent Cassel plays Julius Caesar, Angèle makes an appearance, and there’s even McFly and Carlito on the Roman side. But not enough to really make us happy. Because a beautiful poster is not everything. If we are not witnessing a complete sinking, we are in this boat with our feet in the water. However, we think the youngest should enjoy this select cast.

Between major players who aren’t necessarily sure and big names who aren’t in the business (and it shows)Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

A sip of magic potion, please?

What made this phenomenal successAsterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, it’s the writing quality of his humor and gags. Today, the scenes of Alain Chabat’s film have a cult character. Some even know Edouard Baer’s monologue by heart (don’t judge them). Unfortunately for Middle Empiredoes not come close to it.

If you want subtlety, you can always run away. We see the floods coming from miles away, and that’s our biggest criticism of the film. We would definitely like a second reading for the 15+ audience. Of course, a few jokes and puns make us smile. Even a sincere smile. But you can count them on the fingers of one hand. For a comedy, that’s a shame. Especially since the movies’ best jokes are already in the trailers.

Mayonnaise does not accept, because everything seems forced. The rhythm of the jokes is very frantic and it is difficult to breathe between the two (attempted) valves. The movie wants to make us laugh completely. At any cost. And there is nothing worse than having the opposite effect.

© Pathé

After all, if we laugh, there will be more shame. – No, they didn’t dare anyway? Can we ask a few times during the review? Yes, they dared. And it almost made us want (Guillaume) Canet.

The universe of Asterix and Obelix is ​​revered

Fans of heroes Goscinny and Uderzo still have to find their way there. decorations ofAsterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom are beautiful and true to the original comic book universe. We find the village as we have known it for decades. Likewise, all the characters shine in quality costumes, and that’s worth highlighting.

So visually, Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom it depends on him. Similarly, the special effects of the film are perfectly done and perfectly respect the universe that has accompanied several generations. We especially note the scenes where Asterix’s feelings of love are too strong and the wings of his helmet are gone.

Verdict: Could (really) do better

Whether Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom Not the disaster we feared, the film is not a pleasant surprise. This is (very) average. And that’s a shame. Visually, it is quite beautiful. The clothes of the characters, the scenes… There are good elements.

The synopsis, though very classic, is unforgettable. But it all sounds empty. Like a Roman helmet. A little subtlety and more sophisticated jokes would have been appreciated. The stars of the moment and the sign of JULY do not film. Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom it allows you to look after yourself, but it has a chance to be quickly forgotten.

Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom

A poster of Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom

We love

  • Beautiful sets and costumes

We love less

  • A humor that does not accept
  • An empty sounding cast
  • A script that is not deep enough

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *