"Asterix", "Valerian", "Persepolis"… The best and worst comic book adaptations for cinema

“Asterix”, “Valerian”, “Persepolis”… The best and worst comic book adaptations for cinema


1. Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra

Uderzo had somewhat disdained him. And yet. The film Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra achieves the feat of surpassing the original comic strip. At the maneuver, Alain Chabat, who also lends his features to a César as detestable as endearing. Christian Clavier puts his fussy tone and his mannerism at the service of an Asterix that is more French than Gaulish. Obélix is ​​embodied by the eternal Gérard Depardieu. Jamel Debbouze, as a crooked architect with such a particular flow – “ Course Amsterixme! “. Without forgetting Édouard Baer, ​​who has become the scribe Otis, looking like a bird that has fallen from the nest. A merry band for a delirious adventure, paved with puns galore, the absurd and subtleties not necessarily obvious at first viewing.

2. Persepolis

A thousand leagues from a Disney blockbuster, the autobiographical animation Persepolis recounts the youth of Marjane Satrapi, in Tehran. A youth bruised by the Iranian revolution, the war against Iraq and political tensions. Under a stylized and dynamic line, the black and white flat areas transcribe with burning frankness the violence of the conflicts and the moods of the characters. All balanced by a biting humor and a childlike innocence. A successful adaptation, which has since become a cinematographic reference in the world of animation.

3. Snowpiercer

2031. An ice age has brutally hit the planet. The only survivors are the passengers of a train, the Snowpiercer (“Transperceneige”), designed to shelter the last survivors of the freezing cold that has hit all continents. On board, a strict separation of classes: from the first, where debauchery competes with gluttony, to the passengers at the back of the train, left behind. Whether Snowpiercer is a real action film with a very sustained rhythm, it contains an undeniably philosophical and political subtext: the unjust social order maintained in the train finds, as the scenario progresses, its justification. And the revolt of the last of the rope weakens the very survival of humanity. A cinematic success hailed by critics.

4. Quai d’Orsay

A young diplomat discovers a hushed world with archaic rules, where an innocuous lack of taste – shoes deemed too ordinary – can earn a clumsy beginner that he is harsh remarks. Alongside Raphaël Personnaz and Anaïs Demoustier, Thierry Lhermitte, who portrays a Minister of Foreign Affairs very largely inspired by Dominique de Villepin at the time of the war in Iraq, gives all his excess in this joyful satire of the absurd world of administration.

5. The handsome guys

Inspired by several Riad Sattouf comics, and in particular The secret life of young people, this first film by the cartoonist is a real success. The seemingly simple story follows two teenagers who are uncomfortable with their bodies and obsessed with girls – teenagers, then. Beyond its accuracy and its humor, the film is also worth for its hard-hitting cast (Vincent Lacoste, Anthony Sonigo and the excellent Noémie Lvovsky in the role of the mother) and the tender look at the friendship put in the spotlight. test of these two friends, depending on the success of one or the other with the other sex.

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1. Asterix at the Olympic Games

In six years, the franchise has made the splits. From the Egyptian adventure with caustic humour, which has become cult today, to the big clogs and badly led Olympiad. Despite all the efforts in the world, Clovis Cornillac does not manage to make Christian Clavier forget. Same thing for Alain Delon who replaces Alain Chabat. The overdose of synthetic images makes the film more fake than fake. The cast is just as fake and prevents you from immersing yourself in this new Gallo-Roman confrontation: Franck Dubosc, Francis Lalanne, Tony Parker, Dany Brillant, Amélie Mauresmo and even Mónica Cruz. To wonder who was not showing. Ah yes, finesse.

2. The Smurfs

The free adaptation of Peyo’s famous comic book on the big screen had everything to excite, or at least bring us back to childhood memories. This was without taking into account poor quality 3D modeling, New York sets to make you miss the mushroom village of small creatures, and a Neil Patrick Harris from bad days – yet grandiose as Barney Stinson in the sitcom How I met your mother. Between comics and film The Smurfs so it’s hard to say it’s blue beanie, blue beanie.

3. Teachers

With 12% success in the baccalaureate, the Lycée Jules Ferry plunged the stats. The Inspection d’Académie tries everything for everything by giving the worst students… the worst teachers. The comic was pretty funny, the movie is kinda… bad. Hardly convincing as a director, Pef (ex of the Robin Hood troupe) distorts the original work by rolling out the red carpet to Kev Adams who monopolizes the camera and the vague intrigue without making it any funnier. Despite the presence of Christian Clavier, the only one who makes it here, the film turns clumsy, and even hysteria in the catastrophic second part shot in Great Britain.

4. Largo Winch

Jean Van Hamme’s comic strip is a classic of the genre: Largo Winch, a Yugoslav orphan, is adopted by a wealthy childless businessman who is looking for a successor to his empire. Largo will therefore inherit from the W group – including secretaries (the comic strip was released in 1990) – and will bring over the albums a fairly constant care to blow up anything in its path, all serving the manifest objective of a fight fierce against the wicked. In short, all the ingredients were there for a – good? – James Bond movie. Alas, if Tomer Sisley does what he can – apparently his own stunts – the script of the film impoverishes the universe of the comic strip, the false connections abound and the whole thing leaves the spectator with the impression that the action film should above all remain the business of the Americans.

5. Valerian

The beautiful does not always rhyme with the good. Valerian is like that pretty dessert that catches your eye in the pastry shop window, but turns out to be very bland once in your mouth. In wanting to adapt the richness of the “space opera” of Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières, Luc Besson set himself a tough challenge. Visually, the film splashes the viewer with special effects, slick sets and whimsical costumes. But the redundancy of the scenario, the poverty of the dialogues and the cruel lack of lightness are enough to spoil the pleasure.

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