Leading the crowd’s “takeback” that Jérôme Seydoux called for, at the turn From the controversial cover of French film Where only men appearedAnd Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom He seems to have a masculinity crisis. Even in the midst of Franchouillard’s calibrated grand show he begins to reinvigorate his main theme: Asterix, in complete existential doubt (he wonders in particular, in the first scene, about the quality of his lifestyle, and then decides to stop eating meat), appears there as a helpless person , shamefully consuming the magic potion like a fifty-year-old who begins to depend on Viagra to keep getting rough. The film’s score on this point oddly echoes Sandrine Rousseau’s words about the masculine background of the barbecue: the reconciliation between Asterix and Obelix is recorded by an embrace in which the two partners, enjoying the liberation, feast on the legs of the braised pig. For his part, Caesar (Vincent Cassel) invades China to win back Cleopatra (Marion Cotillard), who left him for a young Greek, and mortifies, embarrassedly, a small sword symbolizing his crippling power.
In short, we will understand that all this does not fly high. Middle Empirewith parade of stars, is a pachydermic machine that labors in vain to reproduce the formula of a franchise whose standard measure remains the same Cleopatra mission by Alan Shabat. But the acting is probably the weak point of the film, although it constitutes the leader of the loss: Canet, a transparent actor, accompanied by Gilles Lelouch who had the disastrous idea of projecting his acting on that of Gérard Depardieu (especially his little chuckle), when Cassel manages, as best he can, the excruciating dialogues he must speak. But then, is there nothing to be saved from this dog? nothing ? no ! A handful of actors resist as best they can the surrounding gloom. So Ramsey, Jonathan Cohen (necessarily: they are real actors in comedy) and especially José García, an extraordinarily, truly prolific Portuguese biographer of Caesar with an accent for cutting with a knife: he is an oasis of comic genius in a desert of nothingness.