One of the few non-Marvel comic books that I adored as a child were the adventures of Asterix the Gaul. The art was crisp, the characters funny engaging, and the scripts were very witty, with an effortless ability to speak to fans of different ages at the same time.
The basic set up: The Romans have conquered all of Gaul (France) apart from one lone outpost, the small village populated by Asterix and his fellow holdouts. They have a druid who makes a special potion which gives them superhuman strength, and they are such fierce fighters that the Romans are petrified of them.
There have been many attempts to bring these stories to the screen, and the latest version is the 3D computer animated movie, Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods.
The plot (based on the 1973 comic book story of the same name), sees the Gauls resist Roman colonialism in the form of a housing development being erected on the doorstep of their independent village.
This is a French-Belgian movie that has been dubbed into English by an eccentric British cast, including Jack Whitehall as Asterix, Nick Frost as Obelix, and the wonderful Matt Berry as druid Vitalstatistix. Other cast members even include Dick & Dom!
To me, Whitehall as Asterix is a bit too public school for the rural Gaulish villager/warrior, but Nick Frost makes a good Obelix. The satirical nature of the comics is well represent here.
For me, Asterix will always be something that belongs on the page – but this is the best screen version I have seen, and is a great introduction to the adventures of the indomitable gaul. Just make sure you buy any converts after watching this some Asterix comics.
Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods has an RRP of £19.99 (BluRay). We were set a copy for the purposes of this review.