|Running time:||120 minutes|
|Release date:||21 july 2021|
Adapting a cult series to the cinema is necessarily a sign of success for the artist and the public. After discovering Kaamelott - the first part written and directed by Alexandre Astier - one would tend to say that it is more of a simple marketing product intended mainly for the many fans who will be pleased to find the universe of this series and will be happy to see a film designed for them and benefiting from an obvious nostalgic force. While this series which made the beautiful days on M6 between January 3, 2005 and October 31, 2009 had left the fans of the series with an open end in which King Arthur not only gave up the throne but left the power to his former companion Lancelot of the Lake. Forced into exile to Rome to escape Lancelot, who had embarked on a crusade to eliminate his allies, Arthur simply disappeared, leaving Kaamelott in a funereal state.
The story of the film takes place ten years after the events of the series and while the kingdom of Logres is still under the yoke of Launch and his Saxon mercenaries, a sign of hope seems to be reborn for the inhabitants because Arthur may not be dead. The resistance is still present and the flame of freedom is ready to be rekindled as Arthur Pendragon returns. He seems to be disillusioned and does not wish to become a King again but tends to live simply by leaving behind his memories of the Round Table and the dream of the pursuit of the Grail. Kaamelott - first chapter had a solid enough base to find its audience and extend its universe on the big screen.
However, we are quickly disappointed as this film is cruelly lacking in audacity and inventiveness. Alexandre Astier seems to have only wanted to transpose an episode of the series by inflating it to the maximum and lining up scenes one after the other. Of course, the dialogues are always as neat and the cast impressive and worthy of a French blockbuster but the sauce does not take and one comes to wonder if the film was really conceived to be projected in a cinema and not on a Sunday evening on M6.
Yet we feel throughout the film that the director, screenwriter, composer and actor Alexandre Astier has designed his film to live up to the expectations of the public who loved the series. This can be felt by the presence of the main actors of the series who are back in this film, but also by the presence of many famous actors such as Alain Chabat, Christian Clavier, Clovis Cornillac, Guillaume Gallienne and Sting, who have to be satisfied with simple appearances and more or less convincing dialogues. In the same way, the many borrowings from American films is felt permanently that it is the film saga Star Wars (the music of the film goes in this direction), Lawrence of Arabia (2013). By way of an allusion to an amusement park in which people can come and try their luck at removing Excalibur from its base or buying merchandise. Nevertheless, when we go to see a movie in the cinema we can expect more than a movie made for television.
In the same way, we feel that Alexandre Astier preferred to take a minimum of risk and to propose a film that can be discovered by everyone, even those who have not seen the series. The result is a slow first film that tries to lay a solid foundation for the sequel but whose real action only seems to rise towards the end of the film, giving fans the desire to see the sequel. For movie lovers, Kaamelott - first part appears as a simple marketing product certainly calibrated to please its fans but which will leave many others dubious and wondering if the price of the cinema ticket was really worth to be placed in a film whose special effects failed for the most part to place this film at the level of a feature film intended to take advantage of a gigantic cinema screen and a perfect sound system to let yourself be totally immersed.
Kaamelott - first part
Written and Directed by Alexandre Astier
Produced by Alexandre Astier, Agathe Sofer
Starring Alexandre Astier, Lionnel Astier, Alain Chabat, Géraldine Nakache, Christian Clavier, Clovis Cornillac, Guillaume Gallienne, Antoine de Caunes, Franck Pitiot, Jean-Christophe Hembert, Joëlle Sevilla, Jacques Chambon, Thomas Cousseau, Serge Papagalli, Sting, François Morel, Caroline Ferrus, Gilles Graveleau
Music by Alexandre Astier
Cinematography : Jean-Marie Dreujou
Production companies : Regular
Distributed by SND (France)
Release date : July 21, 2021 (France)
Seen on July 20, 2021 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 1 seen O19