Asterix & Obelix The Middle Kingdom Review: For Toutatis! |

Asterix & Obelix The Middle Kingdom marks the eagerly awaited return to the cinema of the legendary and irreverent characters who symbolize popular comics from beyond the Alps, who, over sixty years after their creation, are still among the funniest ever. Because, as the comic itself has often reminded us, the biggest does not always manage to crush the smallest, and the Roman Empire, albeit imposing, led by the charismatic Julius Caesar nothing can against a small but tenacious village in the remote mountains of Gaul, especially when its valiant warriors drink a mysterious magic potion. Make yourself comfortable in the armchair and get ready to enjoy the film, eating a tasty Allium ampeloprasum instead of popcorn, a true typically Gallic delicacy.

Gallia est omnis divided into partes tres. (Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico)

The funny adventures of Asterix & Obelix they have been with us since time immemorial, and more precisely from the very distant 29 October 1959, the day in which the first strips dedicated to the Gallic hero who resisted with his village, in an amusing and parodistic way, the unstoppable invasion of the ancient Romans, holding up the good name of all Gaul. The enormous success of serial publications in the magazine Pilote soon brings comics to make the big leap, and here begins a production of volumes in large format, softcovers and luxury, which continues to the present day with over forty collector’s books (including specials) published by Gargaudand translated into Italy by Mondadorireprinted periodically. From comics to animation the step is short, and if the first issue comes out in 1961, to have the film Asterix le Gaulois you have to wait until 1967. Among the inspirations for the two characters it is easy to notice that of Laurel & Hardy, one of the funniest comic couples of old-time cinema ever. The two original authors, René Goscinny to the texts, already author of the western parody Lucky Lukeand Albert Uderzo to the drawings, both media expressions follow firsthand until 1967, the key year in which the third animated feature film is released The 12 Labors of Asterix, first based on an original screenplay written on purpose, and not taken from a comic book. The following year, unfortunately, the father of Asterix disappears from a heart attack in his early fifties, and the only one Uderzo takes care of continuing to bring to life the adventures of the legendary Gallic village located in Armorica. Although we have been thinking about it for decades, to have the first Live Action film of the saga it will be necessary to arrive at the end of the millennium, with the release, in 1999, of Astérix & Obélix contre César directed by Claude Zidi. The film is released on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the series. This will be followed by three more films with real actors of the caliber of Gerard Depardieu in the role of Obelix, Christian Clavier (and others) like Asterixbesides that Roberto Benigni, Laetitia Castathe splendid Monica Bellucci in the guise of Cleopatra, Alain Delon how Julius Caesar, Catherine Deneuve how CordeliaOur Luke and Paul and many, many others. However, ten years have already passed since the last film, and finally a fifth Live Action film arrives at the cinema, also with a completely original story conceived for the film. Unfortunately in the meantime it also disappears Uderzo, who for some years had already left the series in the hands of other designers. Moreover, the saga has also been the protagonist of many video games taken from it, from the early eighties to the present day, with the last one you can find in this page. If you know French well and want to learn more about the saga, all you have to do is visit the site Asterix.coma real point of reference for the franchise.

Asterix & Obelix The Middle Kingdom, will our heroes be able to reach mysterious China and return to the village?

To deal with the screenplay and direction of the fifth film is Guillaume Caneta very famous artist in France, active in over fifty films, various TV series and also a voice actor, which we remember for The Beach Of Danny Boyle of 2000, e Vidocq Of Pitof of the following year. In this particular film she worked with just a Gerard Depardieu i.e. theObelix film historian. This time we find ourselves in the role of the corpulent rooster Gilles Lelloucheprotagonist of the film diptych Little Lies between friends of 2010 and its sequel Big Lies between friends of 2019 in which it was directed by Canet. Another actress in the film is also linked to the director, Marion Cotillard, which we find in the role of Cleopatrawife of Canetwhich in addition to having participated in the two films just mentioned is remembered for the series Taxi and for a role in the saga de The dark Knight Of Christopher Nolan. Notable too Vincent Cassell, that we remember for The Purple Rivers of 2000 and in the recent TV series Westworldin the role of Julius Caesar. Next to them stand out the original characters, never seen before in the saga, of the Empress of Japan and the princess heir to the throne, as well as the bodyguard of the latter. Of the three actresses, only the first is known, namely the Vietnamese Linh Dan Pham that we remember (a few), very young, in the film Indochina of 1992. As usual in the film there is a cameo of a super sportsman, and as it was for Zidane And Shumacher in the past, it’s now the turn of the cute soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the demented Roman general Caius antivirus. A gimmick that brings back to tradition, for a secondary but fun role. The presence of the dog is inevitable idefix, played by a very tender but fierce West Highland White Terrier. An excellent cast, therefore, which lends itself well to the completely new story conceived by the director and which, we hope, sooner or later will also be transposed into official comics, with a transmedia passage that is not new in the saga.

These Romans are crazy. This phrase, which has now entered the collective imagination, is said for the first time by Obelix way back in 1964 in the register Asterix the Gladiatoras a parody of the phrase SPQ extension (Senatus PopulusQue Romanus) still today encloses the mocking spirit of the genius René Goscinny. Every Gallic or Roman tradition is made fun of, everything is exaggerated and parodic, with truly unique comic scenes, endless fun and a pinch of good old slapstick. The original formula of the comic has been taken up in full by the funny and at times brilliant film by Guillaume Canet which really makes the character of his own Asterix putting, as they say, literally the face. A type of simple and immediate comedy, with some touches of class, and well-established popular ideas, but never too exploited in a sheepish way, such as making the legionaries of the empire speak Romansh, but certainly not the same Julius Caesar, who is instead a refined character, even in his sober parody. Everything is perfectly in place for him, with the classic balance between the characters that we have always known. The real great news, which is one of the real merits of Guillaume Canet is to insert a completely new setting in the film, namely the Far East, and in particular the mysterious China. Which, it should be reiterated, the Gauls have a vague idea of ​​where it really is, and there is a rumor in the village that it is in the direction where the sun rises. Or maybe where it sets. Few ideas but therefore confused, but a great desire to help new friends in danger with the usual courage that distinguishes the people of Armorica, which is none other than today’s Brittany. They also collaborated on the screenplay Philippe Mechelen, Julien Herve it’s the same Albert Uderzobefore his disappearance. The plot of Asterix & Obelix The Middle Kingdom it’s fresh, adventurous and full of interesting moments, with no dead time in between, rather with always amusing gimmicks. In the seven main kingdoms into which China was divided at the time of the Roman Empire, Qin, Wei, Han, Zhao, Qi, Yan and Chu, a great threat looms, and the Empress is about to be deposed, endangering the daughter, Princess Fu Yi who, to escape danger, is accompanied by some merchants and ends up, almost by chance, in the Gallic village of Asterix, with Gan Cho, his inseparable bodyguard, in tow. To help her find her mother, who has meanwhile been taken prisoner, the heroic Gauls decide to travel to China in what will almost become a parody road movie, complete with hilarious themed skits at the various stops.

Obviously Julius Caesar he cannot stand idly by, and here he too, while living the tormented love story with Cleopatra, heads with his army to mysterious China. There will be other strokes of lightning in the film, great loves, rivalries, courtships, but also great friendships, sometimes put to the test, and good feelings, for what seems more like a refined comedy from the past, which mixes adventure, comedy and old-fashioned slapstick in small doses, only when needed. There is also a small parody of modern vehicles, with carrier pigeons used as mobile phones and an iconic one Citroen 2CV, symbol of France, in a Gallic version, which will make you jump out of your seat with laughter. Obviously also the legendary fisticuffs between Gauls and Romans, in style Bud Spencer & Terence Hillto understand each other, another couple indebted to the model of the comic duo Slim and Ciccio borrowed from Laurel & Hardy. Director Guillaume Canet has the great merit of updating the characters, making them more alive than usual and less stereotyped, while respecting tradition. Almost a new beginning for the saga, which could appeal to both old fans in their forties and over, as well as Generation Z, who perhaps know little about the comic book characters. After sixty plus years of adventures here is the fantastic universe of Asterix is ready to entertain us once again, and perhaps introduce those who have never read it yet, to the original comic, which is one of the best European productions ever.

After more than ten years of waiting, finally, the lanky Asterix and the corpulent Obelix are back in the cinema, with a new and entertaining Live Action film. A title, Asterix & Obelix The Middle Kingdom which, in addition to being absolutely unmissable for historical fans of the saga, is designed by the talented actor, director and screenwriter Guillaume Canet as a real new beginning of the saga, moreover recently orphaned even legendary Albert Uderzo. Timeless characters, as valid today as yesterday, who are now great classics of transalpine comics. The European path of Cinecomics has just begun. The appointment at the cinema is set for February 2 with the Italian distribution by Medusa.

Asterix & Obelix The Middle Kingdom Review: For Toutatis! |