August 29, 2019
Quirky visuals provide welcome respite from the corporate logic that permeates every aspect of this digimated sequel
Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion review – a flatly formulaic brew
At risk of sounding like Grumpycritix, the movies have treated Asterix almost as poorly as they have Tintin. The brand fell into pantomimic disrepair with those live-action super-productions that cast Gérard Depardieu as Obelix shortly before the actor packed up for Russia; it rallied, briefly, with 2016’s The Mansions of the Gods, a brisk, spirited digimation lent additional pep by the ragbag British comedians (Matt Berry, Dick and Dom) drafted in for the UK theatrical version.
Alas, the English-language dub of this follow-up has been pitched with mercenary precision at the US market: hand-drawn inserts strive to explain who the key players are, and our indomitable Gauls now sound like actors manning the background of a Hallmark Channel melodrama. The deft cultural and linguistic gags Goscinny and Uderzo once traded in are mostly lost in homogenisation.
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