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Lucky Luke and the Daltons (2004)

Les Dalton (original title)
Joe and Averell are the eldest and youngest of the four Dalton brothers, the worst outlaws in Wild West history... See full synopsis »

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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Joe (as Eric)
...
Averell (as Ramzy)
Saïd Serrari ...
Romain Berger ...
...
...
El Tarlo
Marthe Villalonga ...
Jean Benguigui ...
Le Chef de Village
Arsène Mosca ...
Le Grand Bandit
Constantine Attia ...
Le Gros Bandit
Sylvie Joly ...
Ginette Garcin ...
Marie-Pierre Casey ...
Ma Cassidy
Ismael Fritschi ...
Le Patron du Saloon
...
Le Cow-Boy Vanneur
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Storyline

Joe and Averell are the eldest and youngest of the four Dalton brothers, the worst outlaws in Wild West history... See full synopsis »

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

8 December 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Lucky Luke and the Daltons  »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,142,556 (France) (10 December 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Composer Alexandre Azaria was inspired by Alan Silvestri's scores for Back to the Future Part III (1990) and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) to such an extend that in several scenes the music sounds almost exactly the same (the scores were possibly used as a temp track on an early edit). See more »

Connections

References Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Without Honor or Humanity
Performed by Tomoyasu Hotei
See more »

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User Reviews

 
And a 4 for "The Atrocious Four" of 2004...
14 August 2016 | by (France) – See all my reviews

2004 saw the culmination of the sorriest trend that ever affected (I should say infected) French comedy: "stars first, story later –or never". It was perhaps the glorious age for TV comedians who could count on their fame to earn ticket passes for the big screen, and while Alain Chabat's "Asterix and Cleopatra" was an exception because it was based on a classic comic-book, two movies released in 2004 proved, if it ever needed to be proved, that you can have all the stars your producers' wallet can attract, without a story, you have nothing.

It all started with the dreadful "RRRrrrr!!!", a film set in prehistoric times and whose only reason to exist was to give to TV surrealist comedic troop "Robin des Bois" (a French poor man's "Monty Python") a chance to grace the silver screen for the first time. Closer to a disgrace, it was also the last time they did a film together and only Jean-Paul Rouve grew a honorable career out of it, one he could owe to better choices and to his versatility. Chabat lost his Midas touch with "RRRrrrr!!!" but even the critical panning the film met didn't shake this craze over comic-books. The year would see the release of "Iznogoud" and "The Daltons", both based on René Goscinny's iconic characters, and both starring TV stars: Michaël Youn for the former and the 'Eric and Ramz' duo for the latter.

And both have in common that they would make Goscinny roll over his grave or die of a heart stroke if he was still alive, as the stories are just excuses for actors to play their usual shtick under the fallacious homage pretext. We're supposed to laugh when Youn gets excited as when Ramzy acts stupid in "The Daltons" and makes Joe angry, that's it. It's like sitcom humor elevated to the status of cinematic art form, with the complicity of greedy producers who know how to disguise mediocrity under high production values. Because unfortunately, what these films have in common is that they look good and professional enough to fool the viewers, but that's the only luxury they couldn't not afford.

So, "The Daltons" is about one of the most iconic creations of the late Goscinny and Morris, the four brothers whose escalating heights and contrasting personalities between the small short-tempered leader Joe and the tall but lovably stupid Averell contributed to some of the best pages of Lucky Luke and French-Belgian comic-books. If that relationship worked in the film, you had your film, and why shouldn't it have worked? Eric and Ramzy have proved themselves capable to play duos with contrasting personalities, Eric is talented enough to play the angry one, and Ramzy to be stupid, and I'm sure they grew up reading Lucky Luke like I did. But making a character likable isn't as easy as it sounds, and that was Goscinny's strongest suit, making villainous or stupid characters irresistibly funny.

Indeed, while Averell in the book is stupid, it's an endearing form of stupidity, we're supposed to laugh because it makes Joe angry, the problem in the film is that Averell is so stupid and oblivious to his own stupidity that it makes us angry. I lost patience so many times I couldn't wait for Joe to smack his face, and throws himself in a ravine after that. It's one thing not to stand characters but not when you have to deal with them every time. There's not one ounce of likability in the four of them, one is an autistic imbecile, another one is a sociopathic maniac, and the two are such worthless plot-fillers, they even got the names wrong, Jack was supposed to be William and vice-versa. So, I'm not even sure anyone involved in the writing really took time to read Lucky Luke.

Well I did read the books and being a fan, when the film started, I really gave it the benefit of the doubt, making bandits comical isn't the most difficult task to achieve, there have been comical hold-ups in the history of cinema and hilariously stupid guys, so the film couldn't really miss its target. I could close my eyes on the random addition of Ma Dalton (voiced by Marthe Villalonga, the typecast Jewish-mother of French cinema) but I knew it was going downhill when my ears caught these two words: magical hat. In the obligatory random cameo-moment, the Daltons' cellmate played by Kad Merad reveals the existence of a hat that turns you into a bullet-proof human even if Lucky Luke is the shooter. Lucky Luke's adventures never indulged to Fantasy or Sci-fi so it's not good when the script relies on such desperate tricks.

There were countless possibilities to make the movie work, hell, there was a simple one: just adapt one of the twenty stories featuring the Daltons, Goscinny's humor can't fail. No they had to come up with a lousy magical hat. I wish it was big enough so they could all hide under it, a pitiful excuse to use CGI, while it only worked for the shadows' gags of Lucky Luke, it was totally overplayed with the hat. And you know there's something wrong when Lucky Luke, played by a convincing Till Schweiger, is the funniest character in the film. Eric and Ramzy suffer from the same syndrome as the Robin des Bois, their appeal is limited to sketch or sitcom format, one movie wouldn't be strong enough to sustain their comical 'talent'.

And I remember "The Daltons" was the first movie I reviewed in a post after I had registered on IMDb, I did it in French because the film had infuriated me so much, I felt the need to vent my anger in my mother-tongue. I'm not so surprised the post is still there 12 years after, it's not like people have been watching it ever since. Good, such an atrocity didn't deserve to become a classic.


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