Asterix and Obelix take on 

Asterix and Obelix take on Caesar


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Cartoon humour does not always cross over. It happens, or rather doesn't happen, here.

Obelix is Asterix's best friend. He's enormously strong, having overdosed on magic potion as a child, and exceptionally stupid. He eats three wild boar at a sitting and likes nothing better than a Romanesque punch-up. Gerard Depardieu has the ability and body weight to give this oaf flesh-and-blood. What he cannot do is make stupidity funny.

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Christian Clavier, so memorable in Les Visiteurs, is unable to reproduce Asterix's unique qualities of determination and idiocy. He tries too hard to fit into writer/director Claude Zidi's farcical style, with the result that he looks like the victim of a botched cloning.

Roberto Benigni, as the devious Detrifus, who plans to overthrow Caesar, is the only one who has the measure of the material. His childish slapstick suits its level of sophistication.

The effects do not enhance the comedy, rather override it, exposing a dearth of imagination. The film has been dubbed, adding nothing to ease of access. The dialogue, spoken in tongues foreign to Gaul, sounds as natural as vegetarian haggis.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Asterix and Obelix take on 
Caesar packshot
Live-action version of the comic book.
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Director: Claude Zidi

Writer: Terry Jones, Claude Zidi

Starring: Christian Clavier, Gerard Depardieu, Roberto Benigni, Michel Galabru, Laetitia Casta

Year: 1999

Runtime: 110 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: France / Germany / Italy


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