Asterix and the Big Fight (1989)

Asterix and the Big Fight (1989)
6.4
  • 7452
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Release year: 1989 ()
  • Running time: 81 min
  • Original Title: Astérix et le coup du menhir
  • Voted: 7452

When the druid Panoramix is attacked by some roman soldiers, Obelix drives them away by throwing a menhir on them - which accidentally hits Panoramix. After this the druid has lost his memory and can not remember the formula of his magic potions, especially the one which gives superhuman strength.

#PersonCharacters
1Roger CarelAstérix
2Pierre TornadeObélix
3Henri LabussièrePanoramix, le druide
4Julien GuiomarLe devin Prolix
  • Funny and amusing Asterix adventure in which Panoramix goes insane when Obelix throws a menhir by 6

    The picture brilliantly retrieves the humour , strong satire and adventures of the original stories . The movie's plot is loosely adapted from the Asterix comic-books , with a number of changes to it. This is a nice adventure with hilarious moments here and there , and it has Asterix and his inseparable partner fighting , as always , against stupid Romans . This is an agreeable Asterix flick and in which when the notorious druid is pursued by the Romans , then Obelix drives them away by throwing a menhir on them - which accidentally hits Panoramix. Entertaining and fun adventure that is a version of the popular Astérix & Obélix comic books, being a rendition based on two comic-books . Enjoyable and attractive feats with Asterix and his faithful friend Obelix fighting Romans . The diminutive Asterix (Roger Carel , who usually provides the voice ) and his rather larger companion Obelix , warriors of the last village in Gaul still free after the Roman invasion, set out on a mission to search for necessary products in order to make the famous magic potion of their druid to help villagers to fight off the invading Roman army . The year is approximately 50 B. C , Gaul is entirely occupied by the Romans commanded by Julius Caesar . Well, not entirely..One small village of indomitable natives still holds out against the invaders by means of a fantastic potion usually brewed by druid Panoramix , preparing the powerful potion getting superhuman strength . And the life is not easy for the Roman legionaries who garrison the fortified camps. There a small village located in Armorica live our friends , the intelligent hero Asterix, the menhir delivery and addicted to wild boar Obelix, the venerable druid Panoramix with his potion which gives the drinker incredible energy, the majestic,hot-tempered , brave chief of the tribe Abraracourcix , the Bard singer playing harp ... As always the perilous mission is immediately trusted to shrewd and cunning Asterix . Nowadays , frightened by a thunderstorm, the Gauls - with the exception of Panoramix , who is at his annual druid meeting - are huddled in the chief's hut, when they are visited by a soothsayer, called Prolix, who predicts that "when the storm is over, the weather will improve" and additionally predicts a fight , caused by the villagers' habitual argument over the over-ripeness of fish sold by fishmonger Unhygenixthe . Meanwhile , in order to wipe out the Gaulish village by any means necessary , Caesar plans a sinister plot by intervention the cunning Soothsayer.The Romans soon arrive to claim the village, while Asterix and Obelix hide in the undergrowth. The druid returns from his conference; and hearing of the situation, turns Soothsayer's ruse against him by creating and spreading a foul-smelling mixture of gasses; thus expelling the Romans, and Cacofonix the Bard, who returns to the other Gauls on the village to confirm the prophecy. When the druid Panoramix is attacked by some roman soldiers is accidentally hit by a menhir thrown by Obelix and loses his mind and memory . Obelix , ready to drop everything and go off on a new adventure with Asterix and this time accompanied by a nutty Panoramix . After this the druid has lost his memory and can not remember the formula of his magic potion , especially the one which gives superhuman strength. Here Asterix has to confront the heinous and envious fortune teller allied with the Romans , who results to be clearly more powerful and whose only flaw is not to have invented the magic potion . I say! The Romans have invaded! . The Gauls without the magic potion?! By Toutatis!

    The story revolves around the superstitions of the people at the time , Gauls and Romans alike and of today, and parodies the general gullibility of humanity , including the Soothsayer's fantastical as well as fake prediction of the future . This 1989 film , based on the book , The Soothsayer , was adapted into the inaccurately-named ¨Asterix and the Big Fight¨, which encompassed only a few plot elements from the book it was actually named after . Despite the film's title, only a minor section of ¨The Soothsayer¨comic bookfeatures in the plot , specifically, druid's amnesia . Bemusing animated tale about the immortal heroes , based on characters created by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo , though this time the script is adapted from two already existing comic book , it stars Asterix and his inseparable partner Obelix , from French comic-books .This is an enjoyable adventure with ironical elements , and has Asterix and his always friend Obelix battling , as usual , against idiot Romans as well as a nasty and ominous ¨Le Devin¨ or Soothsayer . Full of fights , noisy action , chases , jokes , customs critical about way of life and modern anachronisms that's common thing in comic books . The movie brilliantly captures the outrageous adventures , tongue-in-check , satire , absurd humour from original characters created by Albert Uderzo and by Rene Goscinny . The movie adapts parts of two stories from the Astérix comic series: the plot about the false Soothsayer is from the 19th álbum ¨The Soothsayer¨or original title "Le Devin", while the plot of the druid losing his memory is from the 7th album "Le Combat des chefs". As usual , on the finale scenes the village people celebrating a wild party and eating boars in a gargantuan lunch . The film provides a catching and lively musical score by Michel Colombier . Being well produced by Alan Poire and professionally directed by Philippe Grimond .

    This passable entry was preceded by several cartoon movies , such as : ¨Asterix the Gaul¨ (1967) , ¨The Twelve Tasks of Asterix¨ (1976) , ¨Asterix in Britain¨ (1986) , ¨Asterix in America¨(1998) , in this latter a few scenes are reused from ¨Asterix and the big fight¨ (1989) . And various live-action movies as : ¨Asterix vs. Caesar¨ directed by Claude Zidi with Christian Clavier , Gerard Depardieu , Robert Benigni , Laetitia Casta , Arielle Dombasle . ¨Asterix and Cleopatra¨ by Alain Chabat with Monica Belucci , Jamel Debbouze , Claude Rich , Marina Fois , Gérard Darmon . ¨Asterix and the Olympic Games¨ by Frederic Forrestier with Clovis Cornillac , Santiago Segura, Monica Cruz , Jean Pierre Castaldi and Janel Debouzze . ¨Astérix and Obélix : On Her Majesty's Secret Service¨ (2012) by Laurent Tirard with Gérard Depardieu , Edouard Baer, Guillaume Gallienne , Vincent Lacoste , Catherine Deneuve , Charlotte Le Bonn. And subsequently two 3D entries : ¨The Mansions of the Gods¨ (2014) in computer generator that dealt with a Caesar's plan to absorb the villagers into Roman culture by having an estate built next to the village to start a new Roman colony and ¨Asterix and the secret of the magic potion¨(2018) by Alexandre Astier and Louis Clichy . The film will appeal to Asterix and Obelix fans , it's a funny entertaining for kids , grown-ups and nostalgics .

  • Good idea, poor execution by 4

    The basic idea of mixing two Asterix stories together was not too bad at all: the Romans were a bit too pale and one-dimensional in the original big-fight story and the druid's absence and the resulting threat to the village was underexplained in the original soothsayer story.

    However, the result sacrifices most of the satire of either story, aiming at a young kids market (which really isn't the traditional Asterix audience). But it is not just the story - also the animation moved a couple of furlongs towards Disney territory, especially the musical number made me cringe. How can the villagers dance to this bard's singing? It is supposed be painfully abysmal! A nauseatingly bad musical number would have been fine, but the film makers simply didn't dare.

    I also could not warm to the English voices. While Brian Blessed put some oomph into his character, he overdoes it, as usual. An example of a scene which required cool understatement was when then the centurio instructed his messenger to Caesar. Blessed speaks it with too much excitement, though 70% of the blame has to go towards the director as the animation is similarly hyperactive at this point.

    The English title of the film still sticks with "big fight" which is misleading as the actual fight (the one between Gallic chiefs) is not in the film.

  • Avoid the US dub, I implore you! by 4

    Before I critique the actual movie I should inform you that there are in fact TWO English dubs of this movie. The first features Bill Oddie once again as Asterix and keeps the plot and story as was originally presented in French. The American dub however changes names, changes plot details, adds a pointless narration, and has all of the Gauls speak with American accents. Make no mistake, this version is dumbed-down and I implore you to avoid it. The existence of this dub forces my score down to 4/10 when it would otherwise be 7/10.

    The Romans, as usual, are camped outside the village waiting for a weak link to finally invade and conquer ALL of Europe. Obelix adjacently drops a Menhir on Getafix's head, making him forget the recipe to the magic potion. Meanwhile, a soothsayer arrives and cons the more gullible villagers into rewarding him. The Romans get wind of his scams and use him to clear out the village. The actual fight of the title does not happen in the movie as that part of the plot was lost when the adaptation was crossed with elements from another Asterix book.

    The animation is lovely, the plot doesn't reach its potential, and voice acting is uncertain depending on what dub you are watching. Otherwise this movie ranks as an above average Asterix adventure.

    Or "above averagix" if you like.

  • When the wise forgets the past and the scam predicts the future ... by 7

    "Asterix and the Big Fight" concludes the second movies' period of the famous little Gaul. This statement is inaccurate but I've never really paid attention to the 1995' "Asterix conquers America" or "Asterix and the Vikings" made one decade after, and I'm fine with that. These two films failed to capture that spicy wit that made the Asterix's adventures so enjoyable, the lameness of their songs and the Americanization of their plots betrayed the marketed intentions of their makers. In others words, these films didn't have the secret ingredient of the magic potion.

    And neither does "The Big Fight", but that's only because it's part of the plot. It starts with the Roman soldiers who had the misfortune of meeting two Gauls in the forest? well, not quite, as they try to explain to their centurion, there were not just two Gauls, they had one dog, plus two wild boars, so technically, they were five, what a relief: the honor is safe. Romans are much aware that the Gauls owe their force to the magic potion and therefore they plan to kidnap the druid Getafix. But their plot fails thanks to Obelix' providential intervention. He throws a huge menhir at them, convincing them to run away. But gravity is a bitch, and it's on poor Panoramix that the big rock concludes its doomed trajectory.

    The consequence is a mix of amnesia and dementia putting Getafix in a child-like state. Obelix tries to make amends, précising that it was just a little menhir, but who is he kidding? As soon as Getafix opens his eyes, his hallucinations say enough about his medical condition. And this part leads to the first (and only) musical sequence where the well-meaning bard Cacofonix sings the film's defining song, a catchy Rock'n'Roll theme ? that lasts one minute, but it would have been too patience-demanding for Fulliautomatix to let him finish. The ancestor of all musical critics puts the final note with his huge hammer. Granted Cacofonix' head is used to these displays of brutality so he'll not probably end up like Getafix.

    This part of the plot belongs to the "Big Fight" album, but like "Asterix vs. Caesar", another album inspires the narrative, and not the least, "The Soothsayer". A mysterious man penetrates the village under a rainy storm, the kind that reminds us the Gauls' only fear: that the sky would fall on their heads, perhaps a metaphor for bad omen. Prolix, to name him, is welcomed to the village and shares a bowl of milk and some boar with Obelix (let's not guess who eats what). In an ominous and solemn voice, he reveals that he anticipated everything that would happen. How come? He's a soothsayer. The whole assembly is impressed, only Asterix, the smartest one have reasonable doubts and Obelix has no sympathy for someone who takes pride from being capable to read in dog's guts.

    The merit of the "Big Fight" is to be based on an album totally set in the Gaul's village, no escapism, but a rather static adventure where the Gaul villagers play a significant part, notably the females. Vitalstatitix' wife is even one of the most important characters. No Asterix movies dared to keep the action in the village, which says a lot about the maturity of the makers, who trusted the originality of the album and knew they could make something out of an adventure where even Asterix and Obelix would spend most of their times watching the druid. The two plots mixes rather well, confronting the village to two dilemmas: the wisest man hasn't just lost his mind but can't even remember the magic potion's recipe and the soothsayer can manipulate them, to the point of convincing them to leave the village.

    And with all this sensation of doom pending over their heads, "The Big Fight" features some hilarious sequences and great pieces of animation. The soothsayer is caught by the Romans, and when realizing that his 'I'm a soothsayer' rhapsody would cause him to be arrested, he then reveals he's a scam. But the Centurion who just learned he might be upgraded doesn't want to believe it, he submits him to a 'heads or tails' test, whose outcome is one of the film's greatest gag followed by Prolix' desperate to convince the Romans that he's not a soothsayer, he's just clever. The second part is a hilarious and fast-paced scene where a poor legionary is asked to taste the potions made by Getafix, slow-motion, shrinking, transformation, nothing is spared for the poor soldier. His capability to fly at the end feels almost like a consolation, starting a friendship with a very sympathetic owl.

    "The Big Fight" evolves smoothly and confidently and never leaves an opportunity for a gag, even the druid's cure is followed by a hilarious attempt of Obliex to cure him with delicacy. The film culminates with a great fight that ends up with the Gaul's triumph, but there's something strangely melancholic and moving in the final score, when the Gauls leave the Roman camp, and the centurion realizes a bit too late that the soothsayer's predictions weren't worth the coin he flipped. The film concludes with the brave soldier flying away from the camp with his friend, the owl, into the sunset we see him again in the pale moonlight under the legendary banquet that concludes every adventure. And the rock'n'roll score is back. End of the story, a good one.

    I'll never forget the day I saw the film for the first time, on a moody Sunday of 1991, those were the times where each Sunday featured a cartoon adventure, no 3D, nothing, just the simple power of images and imagination. Anyway, the "Asterix" movies couldn't have had a better conclusion, yes, they were others to be made, but when it comes to cartoon, they finish with the "Big Fight".

  • They should have stuck to the original plot by 2

    I bought Asterix and the Big Fight expecting it to be a big screen recreation of one of my favourite Asterix books. I was sorely disappointed. To begin with, the plot was entirely different, and inferior, to the book of the same title. Bizarrely, it seemed to boast a glaring omission, namely a significant enough big fight to warrant the title. Also, the character of a soothsayer was added and many others dropped. On the subject of characters, for some reason the names of all but Asterix and Obelix had been changed from their usual English translations. Getafix became Vitamix, Vitalstatistix became Chief Bombastix! All very confusing. The voice characterization was way off the mark. Obelix, for one thing, should always be portrayed as a deep voiced dummy, but here it sounds more like he should be hanging in the 'hood! All in all, this film lacks the appeal of the Twelve Tasks of Asterix film, or the Asterix and Cleopatra film and an attempt at a musical number, a gimmick which worked well in the latter film, goes sourly wrong, with poor writing and the Gauls singing in voices drowned out by the music. I advice you not to buy Asterix and the Big Fight. From the patronising opening scene in which Asterix explains the term 'Gaul' to Obelix, it is clear that you are in for a tedious hour long slog.

#PersonCrew
1Philippe Grimonddirector
2René Goscinnywriter
3Albert Uderzowriter
4Yannik Voightwriter
5Adolf Kabatekwriter
6David N. Weisswriter