Caesar has had enough when another legion is hacked to pieces by the damned single indomitable village in Gaul because of the druid's magic potion, so he decides to tackle the problem at ...
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Obelix falls for a new arrival in his home village in Gaul, but is heartbroken when her true love arrives to visit her. However, the lovers are kidnapped by Romans; Asterix and Obelix set ... See full summary »
The diminutive Asterix and his rather larger companion Obelix, warriors of the last village in Gaul still free after the Roman invasion, set out on a mission to deliver a barrel of their ... See full summary »
Pino Van Lamsweerde
Popular animated hero Asterix and his faithful sidekick Obelix travel to ancient Egypt to help Cleopatra build a new summer home. Cleopatra and Julius Caesar have made a bet, with Caesar ... See full summary »
Caesar has had enough when another legion is hacked to pieces by the damned single indomitable village in Gaul because of the druid's magic potion, so he decides to tackle the problem at the root before conspiratorial senators exploit his humiliation: sycophant Lucullus is ordered to capture the druid (believed immortal) and push him over the edge of the earth (according to the story still believed to be flat as a pizza; actually Greeks and Romans knew better). By pure luck, Lucullus' first net traps both druid and Obelix's pet dog, so the giant and Asterix follow them by ship on the Atlantic, and crash after a storm on the North America coast in pursuit of the druid who was catapulted off the Roman galley before Lucullus triumphantly sets sails back for Europe. They find the druid and meet a tribe of Indians (believing to be in India), literally a whole New World for the equally primitive Celts. At the home front, Caesar sees his chance to overrun the village, but has to wait till ...Written by
The movie's plot is loosely adapted from the comic Asterix and the Great Crossing, with a number of changes to it. See more »
When Asterix and his friends leave the Native Americans,the tribe chief speaks in what is clearly Getafix's voice; he says good bye in English for one thing, which the Native Americans cannot speak. See more »
In 2003 the film was re-released in Germany with a different dubbing featuring the voices of John Friedmann and Florian Simbeck (the infamous comedy duo "Erkan & Stefan", best known for their pseudo-Turkish/Bavarian accent). That dub was also included on the DVD/Blu-ray (called the "Schwörerdeutsch-Version"). See more »
Asterix' charm killed off by a cheap attempt to copy Disney...
So... "Asterix Conquers America"? Yeah right, I'm not sure that playing the Disney card will help Asterix to conquer America. Way to go, dear writers, if that's the first Asterix movie an American watches, be sure it'll be the last, too.
Indeed, you'll have more fun in any five minutes you take from "Asterix and Cleopatra" or "The Twelve Tasks" than one hour of this film. And lacking fun, or wit, is the one weakness an Asterix film can't afford. The most blatant case was the first "Asterix the Gaul" that took itself a bit seriously at the beginning, but give it a break, it was the first. This one had six movies to take inspiration from, four decades of existence, characters rooted in French Pop-Culture and more than anything, 25 albums, from which to copy paste any script.
And they still screwed it up, by adapting a book, but what a loose adaptation. The film is based on an adventure written by René Goscinny where our two heroes accidentally land in America after a misleading fishing trip (when you tell Obelix to throw the net, be sure you asked him to attach it first). The discovery of a new territory, weird but edible gobble-gobble creatures and then the first interactions (or attempts to) with the Natives was a source of countless gags and subtle anachronisms, culminating (that's the word) with a wonderful visual reference to the Statue of Liberty. And it even had a great third act in Viking territory. Some Asterix films borrowed plots from many books, but there was enough potential in "The Great Crossing".
But somewhere the writers only took America as a setting, a plot parenthesis in a rather dull and empty plot. Was it just because they really meant to conquer the American market? Or they knew Disney's "Pocahontas" will create a new interest toward Native-related films and bring some extra viewers? There's nothing substantial in the way the Natives participate to the story, which isn't saying much since the story, itself, is rather weak. Basically, the Romans kidnap the Druid Getafix because he's the one who makes the magic potion. If you pay attention, this is exactly the same set-up than the last Asterix "The Big Fight", the film even recycles the same characters and a few images, but that's not an issue, the problem is with the set-up.
The film starts in the most incongruous way, with a view on space and a progressive close-up on Earth, shown as flat as a pizza, to illustrate how the Ancients conceived the form of our planet. It's integral to the plot since, instead of putting the Druid in jail, they want to throw him at the end of the Earth. Why not? But as much as the pizza joke was funny, the film insisted so much on the Italian stereotypes that it proves one thing: either the writers never read an Asterix story or the film was mostly targeted for a German audience. After six films, never had a centurion spoke like Tony from "Lady and the Tramp" or punctuated his sentences with 'bella' and 'al dente'. That was annoying but the worst was still the big-lipped villain. Did they try to make a new Stromboli? He looked nothing like a character Uderzo (of Italian background) would draw. I don't know if I'm the only one, but the sight of that guy really turned me off.
To the story now, we have the obligatory fish-fight scene to introduce the Gallic village, fish isn't fresh but Getafix needs some for the magic potion. He sends Asterix and Obelix, gets kidnapped, but don't worry, less than ten minutes after, they'll all find themselves together in the fishing boat, landing in future America. What follows is a series of cute moments, so dry in gags, that you really don't know where this is going. The film turns into Disney-like stuff, Gauls meet Natives, even love, discover customs and sing together (and what songs!). Since the film had to fill the second act, they needed a secondary villain, the Chief sorcerer filled the box, he poisons Obelix who turns crazy (and we've got to wait for him to be cured) then kidnaps the druid and asks him to make the magic potion. The next scene is revealing of the writers' amateurship.
Getafix gives the sorcerer the recipe, naturally, he fooled him, the sorcerer hits a rock and hurts his hand. So, no growing barber or crazy effects, he didn't even think of making him sleep, he just made him angry, so angry he pulls a knife, then Getafix cries for help, well shouldn't have he anticipated that before? Basically, he did something unfunny that didn't even make sense. And this is symptomatic of the movie, you shouldn't try to focus on the plot very much, just follow the story and enjoy perhaps its one redeeming quality. Thankfully, the drawers gratified our eyes with the sexiest animated Native girl, the only superlative the film deserves. Seriously, she looks like Naomi Campbell and makes Pocahontas looks like her raccoon.
This girl was like the only significant Native of female persuasion, and no one would complain, with her vertiginous cleavage and a body honored by a few subliminal shots. Speaking of my experience, I was in my teen years when I first saw the film and I never expected a character from an Asterix film to turn me on, well, I guess that compensated for the big-lipped fatso. The Native girl, finally cures Obelix from his brief amnesia and says our friends goodbye, during a farewell song that tries too much again, what did they expect? An Oscar nomination? Anyway, our heroes come back to Gaul, and basically, the third act is just the climactic sequence of "The Big Fight" a big fight. Great.
If that adventure proved them the Earth wasn't flat, this is sure how the film fell.
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