Mission Cléopâtre: the real heroes are called Jamel Debbouze, Gérard Darmon or even Édouard Baer [critique]

Alain Chabat’s comedy celebrates its 20th anniversary!

On this Sunday, January 30, 2022, Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra celebrates its 20th anniversary! Two decades of wild success with each TV rebroadcast, after attracting 14.5 million viewers in theaters when it was released. A full box that Christophe Carrière predicted in his review of the film for First. Alain Chabat and Jamel Debbouze were then on the cover of the magazine, and a few pages before their collector interview, was our opinion on this “buddy comedy”.

Alain Chabat talks about Asterix: “Even if it looks like a mess, it’s still a bit precise”

Ask yourself if this Asterix is ​​more successful than the previous one (Asterix and Obelix versus Caesar, Zidi, 98) comes down to asking whether Didier is less funny than Stadium Fools. It is therefore to confuse disconnant and franchouillard, comedy and film Z… In short, in two directors as in a hundred, it is to confuse Alain Chabat with Claude Zidi, both from the school of laughter but not from the same class. Past the incongruous but inevitable comparison, remains…Mission Cleopatra, archetype of the big production condemned to be a hit by its 330 million francs budget (50.3 million euros) and an announced overmediatization. But the fact that Chabat is at the head of this site thwarts any conventional scowl. The boy has TV references and movie culture all over the script. Of “Super Jamie” to tanned, from the Pal ad to Tiger and Dragon, it shoots from all sides of the screen with no other concern than doing and having fun, like his idols ZAZ (Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker, founding trio of Is there a pilot…, a cop… and others). We are therefore not talking here about a civil servant on stage but about a multidisciplinary gag enthusiast. A guy who never gives up, takes care of everything and casts a wide net. Certainly not a Welles of the camera, but at least an Uderzo-Goscinny of the cinema for his execution, total respect for comics, with anachronisms and visual audacity at discretion and without ostentation.

And the biggest twist to the myth is ultimately a blessing in disguise: the late arrival of Asterix & Cie and the treatment of them, close to the contractual obligation, said “Cie” being limited to the bare minimum: Obélix, Getafix and Dogmatix. The fault of the guests to whom Chabat gives pride of place, so much so that the real heroes of the adventure are called Jamel Debbouze, Gérard Darmon or even Édouard Baer. Some will ride the anti-Canal wave (it is good Parisian style to denigrate the encrypted channel since the death of “NPA”) by denouncing a massive presence of regulars raised alongside others (including the Robins des Bois). We can just as well see the good side of the farce: these stars are funny, and the obvious complicity that binds them is a plus-product. Result: a film of friends made atypical by its disproportionate means and sympathetic by its comic energy. Because being profitable (we also say popular) and funny (we also say inspired) is not necessarily incompatible.

Marina Foïs – Asterix and Obelix Mission Cleopatra: “With Chabat, the hierarchy does not exist”

The story of Mission Cleopatra : Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, decides, to challenge the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, to build a sumptuous palace in the middle of the desert in three months. If she succeeds, he will have to concede publicly that the Egyptian people are the greatest of all peoples. To do this, Cleopatra calls on Numérobis, an avant-garde architect full of energy. If successful, she will cover gold. If he fails, she will throw him to the crocodiles.
The latter, aware of the challenge to be met, seeks help from his old friend Getafix. The Druid travels to Egypt with Asterix and Obelix. For his part, Amonbofis, the official architect of Cleopatra, jealous that the queen chose Numérobis to build the palace, will do everything possible to defeat his competitor.

The teaser :

What is “Chabat humor”?

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