Friday, July 5, 2019
Nate Hood on The Fable (2019) NYAFF 2019
The inherent absurdity of this situation lies at the heart of Kan Eguchi’s The Fable, an adaptation of Katsuhisa Minami’s manga of the same name that tries and only occasionally succeeds in blending oddball comedy with high-octane shoot-em-up action. Eguchi gets a lot of mileage from the ridiculous lengths Fable goes to in order not to kill, such as letting himself get beaten up by two street thugs in such a way that his attackers end up hurting themselves during the fight. The way he hobbles himself while preparing for a climactic shoot-out by arming himself with toy bullets and improperly calibrated guns are equally clever. But much of the rest of the comedy is extremely hit-or-miss. The same can’t be said for the actual action scenes, particularly the opening wedding reception shootout. Emulating John Woo in his prime while maintaining its own kinetic flair and brutality, they’re some of the most viscerally satisfying gun-fights this side of John Wick.
FABLE had played NYAFF earlier in the week. It can next be seen at the Fantasia Fest in Montreal at the end of July