Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom Review – An Uninspired, Forgettable Film Adaptation

Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom is a movie based on the famous French duo first featured in Ren Goscinny s 1959 comic book Asterix the Gaul.

In this modern-day film adaptation, the pair return to the big screen to embark on a new adventure while making friends and enemies along the way.

Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom Review and Plot Summary

Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom Review – An Uninspired, Forgettable Film Adaptation

It’s 50 B.C., and Asterix and Obelix live in a remote village that has yet to be taken over by the Romans. One day, their friend Graindema appears after returning from China with Princess See, the daughter of a Chinese Empress, whom he has helped escape from a malicious prince who is after her.
To protect her mother’s kingdom from being conquered by princes who secretly wish to take over the land, she travels back to her home country with Asterix, Obelix, and a group of Gauls to save the territory.
Asterix & Obelix The Middle Kingdom’s greatest strengths are costume design, cinematography, and visual effects. Wardrobe choices capture the look of each character portrayed in the comic books, accompanied by stunning film locations that embody the period represented.

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In addition, the visual effects utilized during the battle sequences are impressive and some of the best moments during the 112-minute run-time.

Though the film excels visually, many scenes are nonsensical, long-winded, and accompanied by puerile humor and songs that are entirely out of place. The year is 50 B.C., yet a cover version of Queen’s We Will Rock You is featured, only this time, the lyrics are changed to gain laughs.

Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom Review – An Uninspired, Forgettable Film Adaptation

Jennifer Warnes and Billy Medley’s The Time Of My Life is also sung during a skit, coupled with a farfetched reenactment of a dance move from Dirty Dancing.

Are the Gauls fans of the 80s movie that did exist during the timeline the film is capturing? It doesn’t make sense, and references to iconic movie scenes and hit songs feel interjected to try and resonate with the audience in some way due to a weak script.

As someone who read the Asterix and Obelixcomic books and watched the 1999 film Asterix and Obelix vs. Caeser, the portrayal of Asterix in this live-action remake strays away from his personality depicted in previous works.

Instead, he is reflected as the village idiot lacking courage, and his gloomy persona is distracting. Obelix aligns more with the source material, but the pair feel disjointed alongside one another.

Vincent Cassel shines as Caesar, and despite limited screen time, Marion Cotillard stuns as Cleopatra. But the biggest surprise is a cameo by Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic. So why is he in Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom? I don t know, but he doesn’t feel out of place in a film so over the top.

Is Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom Good or Bad?

Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom Review – An Uninspired, Forgettable Film Adaptation

Apart from pleasing visuals and decent performances by Cassel and Cotillard, there is nothing to write home about regarding Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom, which is let down by a poor script.

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Outlandish sequences and humor are exercised to create funny and creative material, but instead, it results in a chaotic, unfunny disaster.

Is Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom Worth Watching?

If you’re an Asterix and Obelixsuperfan and don’t mind unrealistic, over-the-top fun, this movie may be for you. If, however, you’re a casual fan or a newcomer to the material, this mediocre flick isn’t worth the time investment.

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