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Tag Archives: Monkey Mask

30 Minutes or Less: two lazy rednecks kidnap a pizza delivery guy, strap a bomb to his chest and force him to rob a bank. There are plenty laughs here, but several unnecessary handicaps for a comedy film: the central character is a negative-Nancy and continually craps all over the knockabout tone of the film; some of the stuff is pretty grim (family murder/kidnap/bomb-vests) but related jokes are all played like is was a standard upbeat comedy; finally, it’s such a stupid, stupid story – especially when the hitman & strippers are added – that you lose interest. Both hicks were funny, McBride is token McBride and Swardson is a solid partner for him. The dialogue didn’t feel quick / smart / dry / sarcastic / scathing enough for Eisenberg‘s brand of humour, making it easy for Ansari to really shine as the comedy highlight. It’s a textbook example of when a trailer features and ruins all of the best gags. The story would have made a fantastic black comedy or screwball (given the number of ridiculous plot developments) but by playing it safe just leaves the film feeling messy and all over the place. Still, it’s entertaining and quite funny, but the silliness means it’s mostly forgettable; definitely sub-Zombieland.

Score: 6.5/10

20th Century Boys: a normal guy has to save the world from a certain doomsday. For the most part the plot doesn’t make a lot of sense because there’s a lot of childhood memories, which are impossible to figure out until those events / characters are revealed in the ‘present’. There’s the usual hammy overacting associated with Manga but some cool nods toward films like Wild Zero / Electric Dragon with the weird guitar semi-climax. It looks and feels quite slick in parts, yet some pretty cheap CGI crops up towards the end. Because it’s part of a trilogy, the film feels slow and bloated, with no attempt to make it remotely ‘stand alone’ – it’s also left wide open, ending on a bum note. While it may be one of the most successful films in Japan; to a non-fanboy cinephile, it just goes on my list of not-very-memorable Manga adaptations, and I won’t be watching the other two parts.

Score: 5.5/10