HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
Flesh Feast
Gerald's Game
Crocodile Dundee II
Baaghi
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Asterix at the Olympic Games Running Rings Around ThemBuy this film here.
Year: 2008
Director: Frédéric Forestier, Thomas Langmann
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Clovis Cornillac, Benoît Poelvoorde, Alain Delon, Vanessa Hessler, Franck Dubosc, José Garcia, Stéphane Rousseau, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Elie Semoun, Alexandre Astier, Santiago Segoura, Michael Herbig, Bouli Lanners, Michael Schumacher
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Around two thousand years ago, the Romans ruled almost all of Europe, but there was one part of it they had not conquered, a tiny village in Gaul where the inhabitants held out against the oppressors by virtue of the magic potion they drank which gave them superhuman strength. There was one among them who longed to strike out for fresh pastures, however, and he was Lovesix (Stéphane Rousseau), who was conducting a long distance love affair with a Greek princess, Irina (Vanessa Hessler) by carrier pigeon. He could wait for her no longer, and decided to head for the Mediterranean and the arms of his true love - or that was the idea...

Wait a minute, what does this have to do with the character in the title, Asterix? This was the third live action film to feature the creations of Réne Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, and also the most expensive though sadly the least well-received. The majority of fans were not so keen on the rewriting of the original Olympic Games comic book, timed to be released at the start of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and felt that their heroes were effectively sidelined in favour of the guest stars. Certainly Christian Clavier, who played Asterix in the first two instalments, was unhappy with the same thing happening in Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatre, and declined to reprise his role here.

So Clovis Cornillac was the new Asterix, and while he didn't look like the cartoon, his presence was not too jarring, mainly because Clavier was right, the title character doesn't have that much to do, and neither does Gérard Depardieu's Obelix. But to say that they were irrelevant would be wrong, as if you thought of this as an ensemble movie you would get on with it a lot better. Some of those stars included Alain Delon as Julius Caesar, straightfacedly cracking a joke about the Césars and taking every opportunity to lampoon his supposed vanity; it's not bad casting and was cheering to see a genuine French megastar engaging in what amounted to two relentless hours of all-out silliness.

But the real star was Benoît Poelvoorde as Caesar's son Brutus (wait - Brutus was Caesar's son?!) who is scheming his way to the top and attempting to knock his dad off his throne by foul means. He grabbed every opportunity to make the audience laugh, and his performance may have been broad but it was necessary to be heard over the lavish production design and frequent special effects sequences. If nothing else, you could see where the money went as it was all up there on the screen as Asterix and his friends travel to Greece to help out Lovesix, who has gotten into a challenge where Irina has declared she will marry whoever wins the Olympic Games, which conveniently for the plot is just about to take place.

So it's either Lovesix or Brutus who will win her hand, and while the outcome is in little doubt, the manner in which the film went about its daft adventures was perfectly enjoyable no matter what the naysayers would have had you believe. It's true there was an air of terrific self-indulgence as not only does Depardieu get to spoof Cyrano de Bergerac in the balcony scene (and with Dogmatix as well!), but there were a host of sporting greats appearing in extended cameos, most notably Michael Schumacher in the climactic chariot race in what looked suspiciously like an advertising opportunity for his most famous team. Wait until the last ten minutes and the likes of Amelie Mauresmo and Zinédine Zidane appeared for a spot of comedy that looked as if the filmmakers were reluctant to end the movie and were continually pulling the audience's sleeve with a "Just one more thing". But this had a puppy dog, only wanting to please you charm, better than its reputation even if Asterix and Obelix could have made a more ingratiating focus. Music by Frédéric Talgorn.

Aka: Astérix aux jeux olympiques
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1821 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: