31 July 2004 | dbborroughs
Tasteless But Hysterical Destruction of Japanese Pop Culture
First off two questions:
1.How well do you know Japanese pop culture? Have you seen Japanese yakuza films? Godzilla? Do you know Zatoichi and Lone Wolf and Cub? How about Ultraman? Have you watched things like Extreme Elimination on Spike (which is a Beat Takeshi TV show)? Do you know about their attitudes towards sex?
2.Are you bothered by base humor that goes for the lowest common denominator? Get you get past woman being nothing more than objects to take their clothes off? Do you laugh at poop jokes or for that matter just really dumb jokes?
If you know a bit about Japanese culture and can laugh at stupid jokes then this is for you.
Starting as one man's quest to get a car so he can have sex in it, this film morphs into a destruction of dozens of Japanese icons. It proves that Western eyes aren't the only ones who find much of Japanese culture silly.
If you have a passing awareness of what they are sending up and tearing down this is absolutely hysterical. Granted you won't get everything, but you'll probably smile from start to finish with frequent bursts of laughter.
One of the chief reasons this works is that there is intelligence behind the humor. Yes, the hero is a pig, and his attitudes towards women are terrible, but thats the point and much of the pain that he ends up getting he deserves for being the way he is. The jokes about the icons is often dead on, for example the film dismantles Lone Wolf and Cub in a minute and a half so perfectly I doubt that I'll be able to watch the movies with a straight face ever again.
If you know Japanese culture and love to laugh see this movie. You may not love it all, but you will laugh.
A word of warning- this movie would be rated R if released in the US. Not just for the sex and nudity, but for the scatological humor which cross over into the graphic.
For Japanophiles with a low brow sense of humor 8 out of 10. For everyone else 4 out of 10.