|Index||8 reviews in total|
....and how much did I love them!Goscinny and Tabary used to work
wonders for there was only one plot:the Grand Vizir Iznogoud wants to
get rid of the caliph and be caliph himself;but every time they came up
with funny new situations,hilarious puns and a lot of black humor.
Patrick Braoudé completely butchered Iznogoud.He's got a lot of nerve to dedicate his piece of junk to Goscinny and Tabary!The lines are vulgar, full of saucy innuendos(whereas the comic books never deal with sex even to the lesser extent).The songs are abysmal and essentially filler:the reworking of "Pretty woman" is an insult to the great Roy Orbison.It's really too bad for the late Jacques Villeret :the part of the caliph
was tailor-made for him and had he worked with a clever director,he could have succeeded in his portrayal.As I cannot say something nice about the rest of the cast....
Now do yourself a favor and read again one of those wonderful comics.
This movie is based on an old (mid 70's) french graphic novel once famous for its humour, based both on situations and on strange and funny characters name (as the main character, Vizir Iznogoud). The adaptation to cinema is a total failure. Braoudé, the writer, totally lacks of imagination. Based on the graphic novel, a continuous flow of gags, hilarious situations, references to classical movies and/or political situation are waited for. But nothing, or quite, happens. A few bad jokes, often predictable (such as the gate in the middle of the desert), a bad copy of "Asterix - Mission Cleopatra" ancient/modern conversations (the flying carpet described as a brand new car), some poor references to the movie "Pretty woman", and that's all folks! 10 (bad) jokes in a 1h30-long movie, it's poor, especially when this movie is supposed to be a comedy. I watched it in a movie-theater in a small town in France. Except, sometimes, a six-year old boy, nobody laughed! Maybe Braoudé should try another job, something which doesn't involved imagination and creative skills...
This movie is based on a lesser known comic by the authors of Asterix.
The first half of the movie feels rather messy, as we go through Grand
Vizier Iznogoud's various schemes and dreams for assassinating the dumb
but lovable caliph. These scenes feel rushed and poorly presented. It
gets better towards the end, though. The acting is a tad too
over-the-top at times.
Whilst the movie as a whole is uneven, there are many good moments. The genie twins are hilarious and steal every scene they're in. There are plenty of the enjoyable modern references we see in Asterix (e.g. Iznogoud's take on "running water"). It's cartoonish humor with adult savvy.
Today I watched this movie on TV. I read the stories years ago and so I was curious to see what they had made of it. I remember them being quite witty and Iznogoud was a rather nasty person. Unfortunately I have to say, that what I saw, was not what I expected to see. It had some (very few) good moments. I saw some nice F/X but they alone don't make a good movie. As a resume I think it was not worth wasting 95 minutes of my time. Iznogoud was too young and too good looking and the caliph was too old. In my eyes the cast could have been way better. This is a good example of a bad result you get when trying to convert a cartoon into a live-action movie.
This was the last movie of Jacques Villeret who died 28 January 2005, he was funny as Le Calife Haroun El Poussah. It was very similar to the cartoon if you remember it. Michaël Youn was excellent as Le grand Vizir Iznogoud and he totally embodied the character. Youn's talent as a performer was cleverly used in the movie as he was part of the band Bratislava Boys. Oliver & Kad (Olivier Barroux & Kad Merad) were excellent in their comedy routines as always. A short appearance of Elie Semoun, Laurent Baffie, Vincent Desagnat, Pascal Sellem and Ariel Wizman were just funny as they all represent the elite of French comedy right now. This was a good movie in the cartoon comedy genre. It was much better than I expected.
Being a fan of "Asterix", "Lucky Luke" and not least "Iznogoud" (here
in Germany spelled "Isnogud"), its quiet surprising that I came around
so late to watch this film. Or perhaps not such a big surprise at all,
considering that I've been more or less disappointed by most
real-life-adaptations of said comics. Hence, I didn't watch with too
high an expectation and left not quite as disappointed as I had
expected but disappointed nevertheless.
I'd agree with most points of criticism that the other reviewers here have pointed out, but would defend Jacques Villeret, who looks like he was born to play the part of the peaceful, tranquil yet rather simple Caliph (and that may sound a little off-place, considering that this was his final role). Michael Youn as titular character, well, not as bad as made out to be, but then again not exactly living up to the comic-Iznogoud either. Too young, in my opinion, and far removed from the figure, that's slimy, scheming, choleric, treacherous and of course likable as an anti-hero can get. I don't blame it too much on the cast though and rather on the lazy script-writing (it would appear that Patrick Braoude has only glanced over the source-material and/or didn't understand it) and Braoude being the wrong man for the job of directing this in the first place.
Not being all too familiar with his prior work, it would appear that Braoude is more at home at children's movies and RomComs, which shines through in "Iznogoud" but really has no place in an adaptation. Call me naïve, but when adapting from a different media, especially one that is so popular and beloved as the "Iznogoud"-comics, I would presume that you primarily want to reach the fans of the source-material. Here we get the impression that the producers reasoned, "oh well, the fans will go and watch it one way or the other, just on account of the title. Let's make it hip and flashy, and see how the kiddies will buy it". Whether the kiddies bought it or not, I cannot tell but I sure know that the fans came, saw and were generally not too amused.
Evidence for this chumming up (no better way to describe it) are the often raunchy one-liners, which may have come from a certain orifice of Braoude, but certainly not the comic. They replaced the often witty, double-meaning dialogues of the source, and are nowhere to be found here. Another piece of evidence (just to point out one), is the "Pretty Woman" dance-sequence, which reeks of pandering to youngsters and is plainly embarrassing for all involved. A rule of thumb: keep song-and-dance-routines out of material where they don't belong and instead keep them, where they belong: in musicals. NOT "Iznogoud"-adaptations! Speaking about pandering: though the film didn't even make it into German cinema (strange but telling, considering how popular the comics are), they did release it on DVD, and of course synchronized it with local voice-overs. From all the competent speakers and comedians, they opted for people like Rick Kavanian and Rüdiger Hoffmann. I doubt that many people from the generation of "Iznogoud"-fans will have gained as much as a smirk from their form of comedy usually referred to as "grimacing" and "vulgar slapstick". Sure, kids enjoy that for reasons of their own, but hearing their voices over the character, probably drove home the final nail of the coffin.
I'd give it 4/10 for good costumes, nice design, the settings and the attempt of the actors to make the best of what they were given to work with; but I certainly won't give it a second view.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Iznogoud is a hard comic book to be made into a movie. The stories are
about 8 pages and they more or less fallow the same formula - Iznogoud
the great vizier gets idea how to kill the good Caliph (usually
involving some magical objects or gimmick) and after few faild atemps
the plot turns against him and he end-up turn into a frog or nail, or
The movie starts pretty interesting with a pseudo-bollywood musical number that explains Iznogoud goals and creates the Arabian night setting. Sadly the next 40 minutes or so, are a mess of different Iznogoud plots, sadly all handle poorly. The plot to turn Caliph into a frogs turns out to be a dream, the plot with two Genies was pointless, and the plot to turn Caliph invisible was so forced. The only good part was when Izngoud thinks that Caliph actually dies. The second half when the main plot finally kicks in is a little bit better and there are some funny jokes now and then, but overall predictable. There are some jokes I don't get. For example - at one point the magic frog escape from Izngoud. During the movie they keep showing the shots of the frog when they cut to the palace, and while I was thinking it is building up to something at the end... nope, it was pretty pointless.
As a whole this movie is not bad - Visuals are fantastic, few jokes made ma laugh out-loud, musical numbers are OK and you can tell that the cast had fun with it, but at the same time the plot is either predicable or makes little sense, there are plenty of pointless moments and overall they could done a much better job.
The first 20 minutes or so of the movie are terrible. But the rest of
the movie is acceptable, even though the songs are not that great. The
movie is actually better for kids than adults, even if there's some
sexual innuendos and a bit of nudity. Jacques Villeret is great even if
his character is not well developed. Michaël Youn is terribly annoying
in the first half of the film and it only gets a bit better in the
second half. But the two genies are great! The movie reminded me of
Astérix, that came out a few years ago, if only that it's not as good.
Seen in Toronto, at the Royal Cinema, during Cinéfranco, on April 9th, 2006.
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