Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom (2023)

Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom
Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom

Movie Details

Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom (2023)
Director: Guillaume Canet
Cast-Guillaume Canet: Plays Astérix
Gilles Lellouche: Plays Obélix
Vincent Cassel: Plays Julius Caesar
Marion Cotillard: Plays Cleopatra
Jonathan Cohen: Plays Graindemaïs
Julie Chen: Plays Princess Sa See (Princesse Fu Yi)
Leanna Chea: Plays Ka Ra Tay (Tat Han)
José Garcia: Plays Biopix
Manu Payet: Plays Scar Dee Kat (Ri Qi Qi)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Plays Antivirus
Matthieu Chedid: Plays Remix
Movie type- Comedy/Adventure
Release date- 1 February 2023
IMDB Rating-5.1
Languages- English, French, Tamil, and Hindi.
Duration-1 Hour 53 Minutes


Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom (2023)


Asterix and Obelix is ​​probably the greatest French comic product. Similar to other comic greats, he outgrew the original cartoon stories and became a pop culture phenomenon that clearly calls itself a live-action version. The modern era of films featuring brave Gauls defying Roman odds began in 1999 with French comedy giants Christian Clavier and Gérard Depardieu. Almost a quarter of a century later, the fifth part is coming to cinemas, this time with a completely new cast, where even the veteran Gérard Depardieu, who has so far stuck to his role as Obelix the boar’s legs, is absent. But the long 11-year gap between the fourth and fifth part was already too much, and so he left the place to a younger one, similar to Christian Clavier in the role of Asterix before him. Did the new ensemble manage to build on the previous parts?

The answer is yes and no. And that’s good. The last two Asterixes are not among the most successful adaptations and brought very little humor or anything else, all set in a television visual. Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom, for a generous 70 million euros, tries to build a reputation as a big-budget film from the first shot, where you can see every penny spent. And he is quite successful. The locations are pleasantly exotic, the action scenes sufficiently action-packed and the spectacular CGI shots of the armies will not offend anyone. Add to that the monumental music of Matthieu Chedid and the cast of Duke Caesar with Cleopatra performed by Vincent Cassel and Marion Cotillard. So far, so good, and the viewer rejoices that director Guillaume Canet managed to follow up on Mission Cleopatra rather than Asterix and Obelix in the service of Her Majesty.

But it’s not so famous anymore. The central pair of Asterix (Guillaume Canet himself) and Obelix (Gilles Lellouche) try, but they don’t have much to do, because the screenwriter (Canet again) has given priority to many other characters and a whole series of gags based on anachronism or pop culture reference. To be sure, Asterix and Obelix is ​​not a sophisticated psychological drama, but a lively comic ride full of bizarre characters (Captain Titanix, carriage maker Citroenix, bodyguard Na Ban-chim, etc.). But when you realize that you are only riding on the basis of sketches with a greater or lesser degree of typical French humor, you can only hope that the writers of the script and the individual actors have enough ammunition to keep you awake. And that doesn’t always work out. Many attempts at a joke end up in the attempt stage,

Fortunately, there is a group around Caesar that steals most of the funny scenes for themselves. Vincent Cassel oscillates exactly on the border of regal complacency and boyish debauchery, his personal scribe Biopix (excellent José Garcia) comments extravagantly on everything with the nonchalance of a promiscuous homosexual, and there is even an excellently integrated cameo by Zlatan Ibrahimović, whose General Antivirus can really please. It’s just a shame that there aren’t more of him on screen, which also applies to Marion Cotillard, whose Cleopatra is more talked about in the film than she is in it, and her performance can be measured in seconds. A missed opportunity as the script didn’t throw any jokes her way at all. The oriental arrangement of ancient China, from which Canet was unable to extract any humor at all, also comes out quite empty. And that’s a shame.

Of course, only the dubbed version comes to our cinemas, so you don’t have a chance to enjoy the original version, however, although at first Jakub Kohák in the role of Popcornise pulled my ears, in the end his specific verbal style fit perfectly with Jonathan Cohen’s comedy and became all the more enjoyable the more you waiting in the movie. He thus conceptually followed on from the excellent Josef Carda as Brutus in Asterix and the Olympic Games. In contrast, Michal Suchánek in the role of Asterix remained completely unused, but I would attribute that more to the script as such than to his dubbing skills. And Tomáš Ujfaluši speaking Zlatan Ibrahimović is of course a football treat for true connoisseurs.

Play the trailerThe overall tone of the film is roughly somewhere in the middle of the previous parts. The first Asterix and Obelix remains unbeaten, as does Mission Cleopatra. But at the same time, it makes the Middle Kingdom forget about the previous installment of Asterix and Obelix in the service of Her Majesty, so we can only hope that the next possible return of the Gallic heroes will have an upward trend. Despite the average rating, the new adventure of Asterix and Obelix manages to entertain for two hours. It would be an eternal shame to cut this bunch of fools just because they are boring. So next time!

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