Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Robo rokku (2007)

Masaru, twenty-something guy who's bounced from job to job now works as a handyman. This means that he'll do anything for money. While working his various jobs he has to deal with his bosses, his girlfriend (a tattoo artist with just one design), and his clients. He also has to deal with a strange man who needs his voice to activate a long dormant giant robot.

Off kilter film from Japan is wonderfully wacky for the first half hour as we bounce through our hero's life. There is just a wonderful sense of insanity working that by the time the plot shifts gears to cover an attempt by the crazy guy to make enough money to pay for the use of Masaru's voice, and a plot line about drugs made to look like vinyl records, you're hooked and along for the ride. The pace picks up in the final third as our hero is chased and he has to try and find the robot, if it does exist.

Its an amusing little film that mostly works even as the pace slows in the middle. Its an odd mix of Japanese and American sensibilities as the characters bounce between Japanese and English with the greatest of ease (The English subtitled English dialog is often amusingly reworded.) Dare I say the film is charming? I guess I will. While not as great as the early portions of the film promise the film is still a solidly good film and worth seeing.

(And stay through the credits for an amusing fade out)

Addendum: This is the sort of film who's quirky details will stay with you. The Tattoo artist with one design and several other bits have been rattling around in my head since I first saw the film. Honestly this is one of those movies that will provide you with bits that will become wonderful non sequiteurs between you and anyone else who's seen it.

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