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For those not in the know, the Asterix books are a hugely successful
series of comic books about a village of indomitable Gauls who resist
Caesar's invasion thanks to a magic potion that renders them
invulnerable supermen. There have been several animated features (only
one of them, The Twelve Tasks of Asterix really capturing the wit and
spirit of the books despite being an original screen story) before a
perfectly cast Christian Clavier and Gerard Depardieu took the lead
roles in two live action adaptations that proved colossally successful
throughout Europe but made no impression whatsoever in the
The uncut French version is great fun, but sadly does not appear to be available in a version with English subtitles outside of the UK DVD. While there's still no sign of a US theatrical or DVD release, the Miramax version of Asterix et Obelix: Mission Cleopatre is also on that DVD (and has played on UK TV), and you'll never guess what - it's been completely re-edited (at least 21 minutes gone) and dubbed into English. Maybe Harve mistook it for a Hong Kong movie - after all, he never saw a foreign film he didn't think couldn't be improved by heavy re-editing and shelving for a few years.
Whereas Asterix et Obelix Contre Cesar was lovingly dubbed into English from a particularly good translation script by Terry Jones but otherwise left unaltered, that sort of thing really isn't the Miramax way. The results ain't good. The film was the best attempt to get the books mixture of slapstick, anachronisms and highbrow classical humorous asides to the screen, but a lot of the classical references are gone (such as the great Raft of the Medusa sight gag or the Cyrano de Bergerac references from Depardieu), alongside anything that seems too French or might slow the picture down, with the result that the first 20 minutes are now a real slog. Several punchlines to sequences are missing, Depardieu's part has been trimmed (his part was already fairly small because of his serious health problems during the shoot: the US version has been partially digitally regraded to change the unhealthy pallor of his face in the original!), and as usual with dubbing, because literal translations into English don't fit properly, lines are either rushed so much they're not funny anymore or the dialogue has been changed completely (a couple of these changes are admittedly funny, like one character dreaming of a world in which he could move his lips in French and hear the words in English).
Not a total disaster, but very disappointing considering how good the full-length version is. It would be nice to think that Miramax would do a Shaolin Soccer and release both versions, but since they've shelved both films for two years since paying $45m for them (another classic case of Harvey's notorious chronic buyer's remorse: gee, wonder why Disney were so p****d at their overspending) and still have no release plans, that may just be too much wishful thinking.
It's a real pity that such an accessible and entertaining film will now only be available to non-French speakers in such a clumsily bowdlerised version. It seems the plucky Gauls may have been able to defeat Caesar's legions but are no match for the Miramax jackboot.
This is definitely a "must see" film. The excellent Director Alain Chabat (also acting as Ceasar) has managed to capture the very essence of the "Adventures of Astérix" (the French comic books it's based upon) and to create a fantastically modern and intelligent comedy, which is also an homage to the world of animated films. This movie is so funny, so full of jokes (both visual and spoken) that it might take you two or three screenings before you notice them all, between your bursts of laughter. The only drawback is that a non-French audience (or at least a non-French speaking audience) might not get all the "private jokes". There are so many dialogues impossible to translate, so many situations directly related either to the comic books or to the French way of life, that the fun might be lessened. However, it's still totally worth seeing for the beautiful picture, the amazing stunts, the music, the totally crazy atmosphere and the excellent acting. All actors are great, but the film would not be the same without Jamel Debouze, Gérard Darmon and Edouard Baer. And please don't EVER compare this magnificent film to the terrible previous one based on the same comic books : "Astérix et Obélix Contre César" and directed by Claude Zidi.
I was lucky to see this sequel before the original because i'm not sure i would have gone out of my way to see it if the contrary had been true. I found "Mission Cléopâtre" better than it's predecessor for different reasons, but the major one is this : it was almost word for word an adaptation of one book not an amalgam like the first movie. The physical resemblance of some characters to their animated self were very funny especially the bad guy (who's name is escaping me, but he's the other architect). I don't know how this movie played in English; my first language is french so i didn't have that problem... I imagine some of the jokes weren't that easy to translate. I've learned something with years it's better to watch a movie with the subtitles than with the dubbing maybe you wont understand what is said, but you wont lose the rhythm and i think that's important too. I would recommend this movie to anyone who really loves "Astérix et Obélix".
Making a movie about a Comic is hard to do.
Making a good movie about a Comic is extremely hard to do.
Making a good movie about Asterix & Obelix has been done.
This movie shows that the french do know how to make an : a) funny , b) hilarious , c) beautiful , d) superb movie. The acting is no less than superb , the sunny feel to the whole movie is perfect .. A MUST see ! This just has to be the funniest thing to come out since we started the new millenium.. 10/10
All those who had seen it will easily agree with me : the first opus was
terrible. Christian Clavier was unbearable, the story was ridiculous, the
look was disappointing ; despite many talented actors and technicians,
Goscinny was betrayed. Astérix et Obélix contre César was a cruel and
Alain Chabat and his team had a lot of work to do in order not to fall
the same traps. Adapting Astérix to the cinema could have even considered
impossible challenge after that first disaster.
However, they made it. Astérix et Obélix : Mission Cléopâtre is a great adaptation of the famous comics. Alain Chabat, who also wrote the screenplay, could modernize the story and the characters and obtain the best from the composer, the cinematographer, the production designer, the actors... With the biggest French budget (50 million Euros), he's made a movie that is suitable for all the family, with an outstanding look and a funniest Jamel. Fast-paced, with plentiful play on words, some situations are really hilarious.
If you like Astérix, and if you like humor, you will like this movie.
I loved this film, the audience I was part of loved this film, and the little 7 year old girl who was with me loved this film. We all laughed at the puns, the visual humour, and the good feeling you left the cinema with when it ended. I could easily see why it was such a huge box-office success in France. I am planning on buying the DVD, so I can see it again and laugh at all the bits I missed as I was laughing so hard the first time.
Wow! the French are really getting the hang of it. If we look at their
Asterix movie we see a good story with nice actors (especially thanks to
Gerard Depardeu)but very lame special effect. In a fantasy story like
Asterix Special Effects are really important. Well.. they did it right
time! It looks terrific. I personaly think Mission Cleopatra is the best
Asterix story ever written.
In the movie there's not one moment you're bored. Go and watch
One thing! they didnt go exactly by the script which I think is a little
pittyful. For example, In the comic Obelix breaks the nose of the Sphinx,
immediatly all the little storekeepers start breaking of the nose of
miniature Sphinx. (really funny to see)..Well they didnt put it in the
movie, instead they burried the nose under the Sphinx. Asterix: "They
never look for it here" (guess again). Was funny but not as good as the
original. Another thing i disliked about the movie was their choice for
music. It maked the film to childies. But never the less... It's a must
Grz Da Jean Holland
I have to confess that I slept in the cinema while watching the first Asterix movie... but this one is simply FANTASTIC! It is really funny and it leaves the first one miles away. It has enumerous gags and funny situations that made me laugh since the first minutes of the movie and I only stopped laughing when I reached the car to return home. I repeat: this movie is spectacular... Obelix is really funny and Cleopatra is a real babe!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After I read that ''At the time of its release in 2002, its budget of
$47 million, or 327,000,000 FRF, was said to make it the costliest
French film ever. However, Astérix et Obélix contre César (1999) had a
budget of $48 million, or 274,620,000 FRF, which supposedly made it the
most expensive French film ever'' I discovered the reason why I found
this movie to be one of the most beautiful and colorful of all I have
ever seen. I loved the scenarios,the clothes(specially the ones from
Cleopatra) and the atmosphere of the movie! It's so happy and cheerful!
I found the jokes smart and hilarious and I have to consider this movie
to be in my favorite comedies of all times!
The cast is also excellent, with Monica Bellucci(who is very beautiful as Cleopatra)Gérard Depardieu,(great Obelix!!Christian Clavier, Jamel Debbouze(That I saw for the first time in ''Amélie Poulain'') among others!:)
I recommend this movie even for people who doesn't know Asterix and Obelix comics. You are going to have a great amount of fun!:)
aka "Asterix e Obelix: Missão cleópatra" - Brazil
In 1995, the movie "le hussard sur le toit" was released and it had a record; it was the most expensive movie ever made. This record was beaten seven years later with this film. But once again, this enormous budget was worth to be spending. Alain Chabat controls perfectly the huge incomes to his disposition (for example, sceneries are carefully restored and the crowd movements are wide) and he succeeds in recreating the fanciful atmosphere of the Astérix'albums. His making is very inventive, full of clever visuals and ringing brainwaves. Moreover, he doesn't only emphasize on the special effects of the movie and this was one of the faults of the first Astérix' film made by Claude Zidi in 1999. On the other hand, what a casting! It's very similar to the Sacha Guitry's film "si Versailles m'étais conté" and you can have fun by guessing which actor epitomize which character of the album "Astérix et Cléopâtre". As far as Christian Clavier and Gérard Depardieu are concerned, they're better managed than in the Zidi's film: they don't ham it up and are more credible in their respective roles even if Depardieu isn't fat enough. The other actors are excellent, (especially Gérard Darmon) rightly chosen even the minor actors in whom Chabat grants a big importance. Nevertheless, this one doesn't fit in the Caesar's role: he is a bit listless and not authoritarian enough. At last, let's notice that the characters' names are successful and funny puns (Menubestofplus, Numérobis, Itinéris), but they're only easily understood for French people. At the end, a successful adaptation of the Astérix's comic strip on the screen and a pleasant entertainment.
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