The Calamari Wrestler (2004)

I have always liked comedies especially ones that are over the top such as Blazing Saddles, Sleeper and Kung Pow. So I was pleasantly surprised when I came upon Japanese filmmaker Minoru Kawasaki, a director known for absurd and surreal movies. The first movie that I have seen from his filmography was the Calamari Wrestler. The premise is simple yet so absurd that most well be turned off by it but if your one who likes to experience new things then the Calamari Wrestler is just for you.

The movie revolves around a wrestler named Kana Ishida who after just winning the world title gets attacked by a giant squid. Who turns out to be a former wrestler named Osamu Nishimura. He turned himself into a squid in order to survive a terrible illness that he had contacted. In order to get his life back he sets into the ring and challenges Ishida to an official match.

All though I have seen some pretty bizarre movies I don’t think I could have been overly prepared for what I was about to see. The movie is a very, very tongue in cheek comedy that’s never meant to be taken serious but is played out that way. It’s all the funnier because of it, causing some scenes to be a riot such as when Nobuo Kameko says with a straight face “I can’t love a squid. How will he support me?” scenes like that me this movie for me along with other moments such as in the final training scene before the fight when the squid channels rocky.

As you would expect from a movie like this the acting was not great but it wasn’t ever meant to be. The directing isn’t anything special but again if you’re watching a movie called the Calamari Wrestler and expecting an academy award winning movie, then you’re out of your mind. The movie does drag about have way through but it picks up after the first match with the introduction of a crustaceans.

I really enjoyed this movie and found it to be a really fun movie to watch. If you like your movies to be serious and without humor then the Calamari Wrestler is not for you but if you like to watch cephalopods duke it out in the middle of the ring then by all means this movies for you. Overall I Would recommend this to anyone who likes bizarre things and or someone who just wants to watch something different, 3 out of 5.


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