Directors: Stefan Fjeldmark- Jesper Moller
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Brad Garrett, Sean Austin, Evan Rachel Wood
Storyline: Asterix and Obelix are assigned to train the timid metrosexual Justforkix who is soon kidnapped by the dim-witted Vikings.
Bottomline: Credibly incredible 2D animation.
These French are crazy.
They have tastefully recreated the comic-book featuring probably the most credible-looking Gauls, originally created by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, seen on film, by getting artists to hand-draw the frames in an era of motion-control cameras and 3-D animation.
But Asterix has always been about the old-world charm. And that does surely come out in this delightful recreation of Asterix and the Normans, with the filmmakers taking the liberty to bring about a few major changes in the narrative, probably to deliver Asterix to a new generation of viewers.
In fact, Justforkix, the nephew of Vitalstatistix, could be any modern-day hip-hopping metrosexual teeny-bopper who knows the right moves for the dance floor and the means to get the girls.
Justforkix here has a bird called SMSix and also teaches everyone to party to the “Eye of the Tiger.” When it comes to machismo, however, Justforkix is Chicken Little. He’s afraid of almost everything, he does not want to train and he would be happy just chilling.
Asterix and Obelix are given the task of training wuss boy. They try hard to make him a warrior but the boy is content being Celine Dion on the dance floor. There’s also Abba, the rebel daughter of the chief of the Vikings, Timandahaf, who is like warrior princess Xena. And her Dad would rather see her sit at home instead of stowing away in his ship for adventure.
Opposites, they say, attract. And that’s where the makers sneak in a love story.
The Vikings come across as funny too. Especially, Olaf, the stupid, beefy son of the conniving Cryptograf, who sends his son to kidnap the champion of fear, because the dumbkopfs believe that fear lends you wings (literally) and the Vikings desperately want to learn to fly. Thus, they get hold of Justforkix.
And now it is time for Asterix and his buddy Obelix to travel far and bring back Justforkix. Obelix is easily the funniest and most adorable of the lot. Asterix fans would note that the regular gags of the pirates who end up sinking their own ship and the unflinching resolve of Cacofonix to sing have been retained.
But though most of the ingredients of the comic book have been retained including the authentic feel, the weakest link in the film is Asterix himself. He doesn’t have much to do this time around, except for one smart idea where he asks Obelix to throw him up so that he can see from above the clouds and make their way to find the Vikings.
Watch this to revisit one of your favourite comic books. Homecoming always feels good.