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Astérix et la surprise de César
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Reviews & Ratings for
Asterix and Caesar More at IMDbPro »Astérix et la surprise de César (original title)

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Lively adventure with Asterix and Obelix enlisted into foreign Roman Legion and as gladiators to rescue Falbala

Author: ma-cortes
29 September 2008

This cartoon movie concerns about our friends, this time Obelix falls in love with Falbala, though she has a fiancée already. Obelix is utterly enamored, blowing down a lot of trees with irritation his dog Ideafix. But they're kidnapped by a Roman patrol and taken to the African legion outpost. Then Asterix and Obelix are assigned by the chief Abraracourcix and druid Panoramix for looking them for.Our intimate duo, the intelligent Asterix and Obelix with super-human strength, enlist Roman Army and as gladiators into a fighters school. As always, on the ending the bard is tied and the village people eating boars in a gargantuan lunch. This is one of the best Asterix film, it's a sheer pleasure throughout, capturing outrageous adventures, feats and hilarious moments. Full of modern anachronisms that's common thing in Asterix' comic books and the animation is more careless than former renditions. The picture brilliantly retrieves the humour, strong satire and adventures of the original story based partially in 'Asterix Gladiator' by the masters René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. Enjoyable and lively musical score by Vladimir Cosma, though with songs on the preface and the finale to much catching. The motion picture is well directed by Brizzi brothers who posteriorly directed a segment of 'Fantasia 2000'. This is a lot of fun for children, grown-ups and nostalgics

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The best Asterix-movie

Author: action-6 from Froland, Norway
18 June 2000

Astérix et la surprise de César(Asterix and Cesar`s surprise) is definitely the best Asterix cartoon. It captures the atmosphere and style of the classic comics extremely well and this is a must see if you liked the comics. Those who have read the comics will soon see that some of the plot-details have been changed, but it doesn`t matter since the end-result is very good. 9/10

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Mix of more than one book = loss of source material = disappointment despite some good moments

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
14 April 2002

Obelix develops a crush on a local girl only to find that she has a boyfriend already. When both the girl and her partner are captured by Romans and taken to the legion outpost, Asterix and Obelix set out to free them no matter what it takes. Their quest takes them into the Roman Army, across deserts, into Gladiator school and up against Julius Caesar himself.

Where most of the Asterix films are iffy, those that stay close to the books can't really go wrong. Most do and are OK but some don't and suffer from it. This is a mix of at least two books – Asterix the Legionnaire and Asterix v;s Caesar and hence it isn't as good as either book as it has some new material. However it's not terrible and much of the wit of the original(s) comes through.

The animation is also better and has depth and shadow in it, although at times the colours leave much to be desired. Even the character voices are better than usual – although Obelix still gets done as a childish buffoon! This is a minor complaint however and the majority of it is good.

Overall, it's not terrible but the mix of stories and the wandering away from source will annoy many fans. Oh and it opens and closes with the cheesyiest Euro-pop ever….nasty!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Asterix' entrance in the 80's ...

Author: ElMaruecan82 from France
4 October 2013

Spanning a glorious decade from 1967 to 1976, the first 'Asterix movies' period made all the fans worry about the little Gaul's ability to survive the untimely death of his creator René Goscinny, and that went for the books, too. The first solo albums written and drawn by Albert Uderzo almost proved them wrong but the recent Asterix Adventures were dreadful, overly sentimental, disasters.

Now, to have a look back on the movies: except for "Asterix the Gaul" which was more of a warm-up for the animators, both "Cleopatra" and "The Twelve Tasks" were pretty successful thanks to the careful supervision of both Uderzo and Goscinny. Their hard work reached a peak of excellence with the "Twelve Tasks", an original creation that transcended the slapstick and satire so typical of the albums to the more ambitious requirements of big-screen entertainment.

Sadly, Goscinny died, one year after the film's release, and couldn't even live to see the release of Lucky Luke's animated-feature "The Ballad of the Daltons". Asterix then remained absent from theaters for a whole long decade, until 1985, when both Pierre Tchernia and Albert Uderoz probably felt mourning time was over and the greatest tribute to their late beloved friend was to keep on making Asterix films. It was "Asterix vs. Caesar" (in French "and Caesar's Surprise'), and this is how the 'Gaumont' period started.

If "Asterix vs Caesar" isn't necessarily my favorite, I know it from early enough to be able to recite it line by line. Yet I still have a slight preference for "Cleopatra", "The Twelve Tasks" and the 1986' "Asterix in Britain", so my guess is that "Caesar" takes a honorable fourth spot. The film is enjoyable, entertaining, with a fair mixture of action, escapism and humor, but I'm afraid it might disappoint a younger audience because of some overuse of adult themes, foreshadowing what would become Uderzo's infamous storytelling style.

But there's one thing I've got to hand to the movie, it has one hell of a catchy theme song, far from the previous and more kids-appealing ones. The song "Asterix est là" ("Asterix is Here") is sung by the Belgian Plastic Bertrand, famous in the francophone world for his delirious hit-song "ça plane pour moi", and celebrates Asterix' come-back with lyrics full of Anglicism and adult puns I didn't get until my teenage days, but now, I realize how they firmly established Asterix' entrance in the 80's. Maybe it was a time for a more mature material, to please the kids who enjoyed the first films and became adults or teenagers.

And it's not surprising that the story they chose to focus on was "Asterix the Legionary", where Obelix (voiced for the first time by Pierre Tornade) falls in love with a local villager named Falbala. Oddly enough, as a kid, I was so thrilled by Asterix and Obelix's complicity that I was afraid it would be ruined by a romance; I probably had the same defensive reaction than Dogmatix. But the romance is only the starter and the story quickly mixes up with the plot from "Asterix Gladiator" where Caius Obtus, Cesar's most valuable promoter, is organizing Caesar's triumph in Coliseum Circus.

To make the events even bigger, slaves from all the conquered provinces must bow down to Cesar and naturally, there's a glaring omission, one forgotten province that still resists the invader. Back in Gaul, Falbala's fiancé comes back and breaks Obélix' infatuated heart, but the blonde-haired couple's reunion is short-lived by their sudden capture. An upstart legionary takes them to the Camp's centurion, (a shorter version of Pierre Tchernia, voiced by the same man) but fearing the Gaul's vengeance, the Centurion immediately sent them to the Roman Legion. Not that it will avoid him the Gauls' reaction anyway.

The mission is set, and to be able to rescue their friends, Asterix and Obelix follow their track, enlist in the Roman legion, and their journey send them from Condatum to Rome, passing by Africa. Meanwhile, a chain of events bring Falbala and Tragicomix on a silver plate to Caius Obtus, who got the Gauls to achieve his goals. Casar meet the couple and Tragicomix' defiance sentences him (with Falbala) to lions' penalty. Cesar is far crueler and villainous in this film, so far from his debonair attitude in "Cleopatra", still, as the host of the show will specify: the emperor magnanimously authorize the two Gauls to fight the lions bare-handed.

The film gets indeed pretty dark, and some parts, like Falbala singing in jail upset me a little. Jokes aren't rare though, and we're never as glad as when Asterix and Obelix are on- screen. On that level, the film contains many hilarious one-liners that compensate the overall seriousness of the story. To give a few examples, Asterix asks for the information office, to which he's advised to ask the information office. Another running-gag shows him teaching Obelix the merits of politeness except that he inevitably ends up using Obelix' punchier methods to get what he wants.

The legion part feature many great gags, they hate the food made of butter, lard and cheese cooked together, Obelix asks if the same every day, the cook reassures them: "No, Sunday, there's double ration". The film is so full of adult humor I only regret it being too dramatic, even melodramatic, I'm thinking right now as the climactic sequence where Dogmatix tries to get the magic potion's flask in Rome's sewerage while Obelix searches Asterix at the edge of drowning in his own cell. That part, mixed with Vladmir Cosma's heart-pounding score is so unlike Asterix' usual mood, but it works on a dramatic level.

The film has a great conclusion in the Coliseum, with probably the greatest best chariots race after "Ben-Hur" and overall, an emotionally satisfying ending. It's not the best Asterix film but a promising opener for the new Gaumont period, followed by the much funnier and entertaining "Asterix in Britain".

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Author: Shawn Watson from The Penumbra
18 January 2014

The first Asterix adaptation not to be taken directly from one of the books but instead is a combination of Asterix the Legionary and Asterix the Gladiator. The cut-and-shut story is a bit disjointed as a result, which might test your patience, especially if you don't like seeing the books jumbled.

Life continues as normal in the Gaulish village as Panacea, the niece of Chief Vitalstatistix, returns fro her studies in Rennes (then called Condatum) and Obelix falls head-over-heels in love with her. Too bad she already has a boyfriend in the shape of Tragicomix, a handsome stud. The surrounding Roman outposts warn Decorian, a new recruit, to not anger the Gauls out of fear of a yet another pounding. Decorian does not heed this warning and manages to capture Panacea and Tragicomix. But before Asterix and Obelix can rescue them they have already been re-captured by slave traders and sold off to be butchered in the Colosseum.

Asterix and Obelix then go undercover in order to get them back, pounding many Romans along the way. The animation is wonderful and the humor is enough to keep you chuckling through-out, but I can't help but think that the books it was adapted from would have made better individual movies. Caesar's presence feels arbitrary and it lacks a decent villain.

Still a fun time.

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5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Just too great

Author: ni_la2000 from Visby, Sweden
19 July 2002

This movie have I seen at least a hundred times. Very well written with great animations. This is so much better then the other cartoon crap they broadcast today. And you even get to know how Colosseum was destroyed. :0)

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Not the worst of the movies, but by Belenos this is weak...

Author: Victor Field from London, England
6 July 2002

As bob the moo notes, "Asterix et la surprise de Cesar" (or "Asterix Vs. Caesar" in English) is based on two of the Asterix books. The problem with this movie is that the books in question - "Asterix the Gladiator" and "Asterix the Legionnary" - are two of the best of the lot, and either one would have made a good tale on its own, but in adapting them as one movie screenwriter Pierre Tchernia didn't do either one any favours, in addition to throwing in some odd new material (check out the attendant at the sauna Obelix visits at one point - the indication that the former is... um... checking out the latter is a bit out of place among the sternly heterosexual series).

The animation is okay, but nothing to write home about; and hearing the inhabitants of the small village of indomitable Gauls speak with American accents is distracting (though not as distracting as "Asterix Conquers America," the worst of the animated movies, which had our hero speaking in the Liverpudlian tones of Craig Charles in the English release). And note the presence of Plastic Bertrand singing over the opening and end credits (insert famous Belgian joke here).

The earlier films in the series, especially "Asterix and Cleopatra" and "The Twelve Tasks of Asterix," are better; and it's a tough call on whether this or the live-action "Asterix and Obelix Take On Caesar" is preferable - in terms of bringing the characters to the screen and in terms of entertainment and competence this one is, but then again this one doesn't have Laetitia Casta...

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