Review “Asterix, The Secret of the Magic Potion” (2021) : a good recipe??


If today the Gauls are rather resistant to believe Manu, at the time of JC (Julius Caesar) they were qualified rather as irreducible (even if we can consider that they were also resistant to the changes wanted by the Romans of the cut). Warriors who will live an unprecedented adventure under the pen and in front of the camera of Alexandre Astier and Louis Clichy with Asterix – The secret of the magic potion.

Before getting to the heart of the matter, let’s crack the abscess: Asterix – The domain of the gods was one of the best adaptations devoted to the little warrior, whether by respect for the original work or inventiveness. which the duo of directors / screenwriter will have demonstrated in the staging as in the writing. And as we had had a great time at the time (4 years already), we were impatiently awaiting Asterix – The Secret of the Magic Potion, without fear that the sky would fall on our heads. Alexandre Astier (and Louis Clichy) could not disappoint us, impossible. We forgot that impossible is not French.

Who says new adventure, necessarily says surprise and the first is the pitch of the film itself. A bit like Mission Cleopatra, Asterix and Obelix are just supporting roles in a story that focuses on the druid Getafix and the secret that made him famous. Astier and Clichy use the gray area left by the comics of Goscinny and Uderzo to exploit the character and his hitherto unknown past. You have the impression of actually learning something without noticing major inconsistencies except for a few unimportant details.

This is the opportunity for The Secret of the Magic Potion to introduce us to a host of new colorful characters like the other druids and their disciples. A tour of Gaul (and a little more) tasty and full of humor where these future bearded men reveal their (non) talents to us. And if the Romans and our two warriors are not at the center of the plot, we can always count on them when it comes to exchanging a few courtesies.

Asterix – The secret of the magic potion lacks taste
No matter what, we do not manage to find the salt of the Domain of the Gods in this second feature film headed by the tandem. The ingredients are yet there with the right amount of humor, action, well thought out anachronisms, references, and even a little dark side that suits him well. No, really, on paper, nothing is wrong.

Except that this time, the mixture does not want to be so impactful. Is it the lack of envy or imagination of Clichy and Astier? Still, we feel a real problem of rhythm within a footage that more than once turns out to be purring. This Asterix sins by a too fluctuating writing of his jokes and an inadequate sense of timing on several occasions.

By dint of alternating good and bad at the same pace, the film shoots itself in the foot by not allowing any of its projections to stand out. Result: where we should laugh – and where we would like to laugh – we find ourselves barely smiling. The height of a footage which is found neither pleasant… nor unpleasant.

While children will still find it easy to find what they need, the more demanding adult – or who will still have the delicious taste of 2014 in the mouth – will not be able to get rid of this feeling of regret. It’s like a missed date in front of a film that is barely sympathetic, when it had the means to be much more.

Technically like the rest
This feeling of sailing between two waters continues in the visual aspect of Asterix – The Secret of the Magic Potion with a 3D animation that leaves you wondering. On the one hand, the sets are teeming with details and the wide shots delight us. Similarly, we are impressed by the texture of the hair, the most beautiful effect. On the other hand, the faces of the characters seem to prove at times a lack of budget, as if we were facing a cartoon for children. Definitely, this film is a land of contrast.

Finally, we feel compelled to talk about dubbing. If most of the actors of the Domain of the Gods are back, one voice makes all the difference: that of Asterix. The mythical voice actor of the little Gaul Roger Carel has given way to the one who has played him twice in the cinema, Christian Clavier. A choice that once again seems obvious on paper, but which poses some problems on the screen. Clavier’s last lap under the winged helmet was in 2001 and unfortunately, 18 years later, the 66-year-old comedian’s stamp doesn’t quite match an animated character at least twice as young. Nobody’s fault, the fault of time passing.