Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion review – a flatly formulaic brew

Quirky visuals provide welcome respite from the corporate logic that permeates every aspect of this digimated sequel

At risk of sounding like Grumpycritix, the movies have treated Asterix almost as poorly as they have Tintin. The brand fell into pantomimic disrepair with those live-action super-productions that cast Gérard Depardieu as Obelix shortly before the actor packed up for Russia; it rallied, briefly, with 2016’s The Mansions of the Gods, a brisk, spirited digimation lent additional pep by the ragbag British comedians drafted in for the UK theatrical version.

Alas, the English-language dub of this follow-up has been pitched with mercenary precision at the Us market: hand-drawn inserts strive to explain who the key players are, and our indomitable Gauls now sound like actors manning the background of a Hallmark Channel melodrama. The deft cultural and linguistic gags Goscinny and Uderzo once traded in are mostly lost in homogenisation.

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