Asterix&Obelix: Mission Cleopatra review

It takes a lot of Gaul to bring René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo's legendary characters to the screen, a task that was quite beyond Claude Zidi in 1999's disastrous Asterix&Obelix Take On Caesar. Alain Chabat's sequel is no masterpiece, to be sure, but we're at least spared the Terry Jones dubbing and Roberto Benigni mugging that made the original such a torment to sit through.

Christian Clavier and Gérard Depardieu reprise their roles as the plucky hero and his dim-witted chum, this time zipping to Egypt to oversee the building of Cleopatra's (Monica Belluci) new palace. Both are on mirth-inducing form, but are now rivalled in the comedy stakes by Jamel Debbouze and Gérard Darmon, French farceurs who play two architects locked in a battle to build Cleo's sumptuous pad.

The costumes and sets are immaculate, while irreverent parodies of Star Wars and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon keep the laughs coming thick and fast. That said, you'll have to read the books if you want to be sure you get all the gags.

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