Asterix & Obelix: Mission 
Cleopatra

Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra

**

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

It is depressing that this is the most expensive French movie ever made. Live action cartoons need special effects, but they don't have to be gold-plated.

Cleo (Monica Bellucci) has been snubbed by Julius (Alain Chabat) when he told her that Egyptians can't build palaces for toffee. She orders a diminuitive architect, Numerobis (Jamel Debbouze, the greengrocer's assistant in Amelie), to whip up the best ever in a couple of months. The location is an empty desert, the work force skinny slaves and the chance of Numerobis's head ending up on a spike extremely high.

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He has a distant connection with Gaul, through the family line, and has heard of the magic potion in a village where locals beat Romans to pulp on a regular basis. He travels there to persuade the white-haired druid chappie to let him have a couple of barrels as a prezzie. Instead, three of them and a dog come back to his desert and brew up a cauldron of the funny nectar to give to the slaves. Result: palace in a giff, Cleo smiley, Julius browned off.

Asterix (Christian Clavier) goes head-overs for one of C's handmaidens. Obelix (Gerard Depardieu) complains of being hungry all the time and knocks the nose off the Sphinx. There is a bad guy at the queen's court who tries to sabotage Numerobis' plans and a bunch or pirates who pop up for no good reason when there's nothing else on the diary.

Because they spend most of the movie surrounded by hot sand, there are no wild boars about, or Roman soldiers for sport. Asterix and Obelix are bored. The joke is a bit lost, because if the big guy can't scoff five pigs in a session and the little guy can't punch a legionnaire's lights out every half hour, what are they going to do? Not much, really.

Depardieu is dressed as a mediaeval Michelin Man and Clavier has a freshly shampooed blond mane. They do the fish-out-of-water quite well, but you don't want that. You want them back in the village.

Funny? Not most-expensive-ever-made funny, that's for sure.

Reviewed on: 09 Oct 2002
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Asterix & Obelix: Mission 
Cleopatra packshot
Live action cartoon with Gerard Depardieu and Christian Clavier helping to build a palace in Egypt.

Director: Alain Chabat

Writer: Alain Chabat, based on the comic book by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo

Starring: Gerard Depardieu, Christian Clavier, Jamel Debbouze, Monica Bellucci, Claude Rich, Gerard Darmon, Alain Chabat

Year: 2002

Runtime: 107 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: France

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