Bunraku - Spoiler Alert: Dreadful The SAD Movie Review
Welcome back! Did you miss me, and the article? What do you mean, what article? The SAD Movie Review that you’re reading! Yeah, I’ve done like six of them so far!
Alright, for the newly initiated, this is Spoiler Alert: Dreadful – The SAD Movie Review. I take a less than stellar movie, take an evening to watch it, and TAKE THAT MOVIE APART! Sometimes the movies are just like I expected: Bad, but fun (Troll 2, Birdemic). Sometimes they turn out to be actually pretty good movies (Trollhunter). Some that I pick….
What Is This Movie About?
Bunraku is the story of the world after a huge global war. The Woodcutter is the most powerful man east of the Atlantic. Along with his group of assassins, they run the nondescript, unnamed town that is the setting for the movie.
As is customary in a movie like this, a drifter (or,THEDrifter, according to IMDB) drifts into town, to take down Nicola (The Woodcutter). He meets up with another person out for revenge, Yoshi, and they band together to take him down.
Sounds pretty straightforward and simple, right? Well, you would be right. Mostly....
Oh, God, Why?
§ It starts out with a narrator.... narrating the opening backstory scene, which is a cool mixture of origami puppets, and other forms of animation. Then, he continues during the next parts. He even points out someone that walks on-screen that will be important to the story later. So I can pay less attention. I like this guy.
§ Ron Perlman, aka The Woodcutter, has white dreadlocks, kills people with an ax, and is wearing a floppy wizard hat. Where is this movie’s Oscar nomination? For Baddest Mother Grabber In The History Of Forever, of course
§ The enemy, I guess, walks in, and The Narrator said “Enter The Red Suits”. Then, 3 people sing “REEED SUUUUUUITS!!!”
§ There is actually a lot of well choreographed fight scenes in this movie. A LOT.
§ Then, Drunk Demi Moore swears, and spits in someone’s face
§ We find out that she was stolen from Woody Harrelson (did I not mention he was in this, too?) by The Woodcutter.
§ And she’s a prostitute. Ron Perlman’s prostitute. Right as they kiss, the camera cuts away. Which is great, because no one needs to see that much of Ron Perlman. Sorry Ron. Please don’t hurt me.
§ All the cops have billy club spears instead of guns? It was mentioned, but I can’t be bothered to rewind and check.
§ The Woodcutter is basically playing online poker, but with a real game. He is somewhere else, telling the person holding his cards what to do. That, and people in the ceiling telling him what everyone else’s cards are. So not only is he a dictator, and holds this town (and more) with his iron-fisted grip, he CHEATS AT CARDS?!? What a MONSTER!!
§ The Drifter somehow switches the cards in the hand of THE GUY HOLDING THE WOODCUTTER’S CARDS, TO WIN. I don’t.... think..... what?
§ He wins the game, but uses it only to call The Woodcutter out, face-to-face.
§ Yoshi (aka Asian Michael Jackson) has a really cool fighting style. It is smooth, and disciplined, and he knows martial arts. The Drifter’s fighting style is basically to walk towards dudes, and PUNCH THEM IN THE FACE! They are both effective.
§ Ron Perlman shaves his face with THE AX THAT HE KILLS PEOPLE WITH, AND ALSO CHOPPED WOOD WITH EARLIER!
§ The Drifter has met his match apparently, because him and this guy he’s fighting punch each other in the face simultaneously. They must have studied under the same guy. Punchy McWearsAHat (they were both wearing hats, lay off my nickname)
§ THEN THEY PUNCH EACH OTHER IN THE FIST!!!!
§ Meanwhile, during this whole fight, Yoshi pulls a Darth Maul on his guy, and slices him with one cut. WAY cooler.
§ The Drifter finally gets to The Woodcutter (who has kept only a sweet ‘stache) and has a few choice, cool-guy, I’m-about-to-defeat-you-once-and-for-all lines. And then gets an ax thrown into his shoulder. Well, that was unfortunate.
§ Nicola lays down next to The Drifter,reallycreepy-like. And the sweet new 'stache doesn't help the creep-factor.
§ There’s like a really long, drawn out scene, and The Woodcutter goes through this entire bad-guy, I’m-about-to-kill-you-for-trying-to-kill-me speech, and The Drifter stabs him in the throat with an arrow. Well, that was unfortunate.
Wait, Did That Just Happen?
So The Drifter and Yoshi fight this big gang, then take off on a motorcycle. Most of the cars chasing them crash, but another guy on a motorcycle, and a guy on a moped, keep chasing them. They get to a clear area of town, and the pursuers show up. Turns out these two are “Numbered Assassins”, The Woodcutter’s personal group of assassins. That’s right: The guy on the MOPED is an ASSASSIN. Motorcycle Samurai guy stays outside to fight Yoshi, and Moped Black Guy goes into a circus tent, with The Drifter in tow.
The fight with Yoshi and Motorcycle Samurai is pretty interesting: Yoshi fights with a street sign, and there’s a lot of theatrics. Obviously, Yoshi wins, by stabbing Motorcycle Samurai with the street sign. But what’s even crazier is the fight in the circus tent.
MoPed Black Guy climbs up a ladder, and stands by the trapeze. The Drifter looks at him like he’s crazy. Just like I do. He then sort of shrugs his shoulders, and climbs up the other side. The Drifter is unsteady up there, but MoPed Black Guy is completely comfortable up there. They both grab their side of the trapeze, and swing towards one another…!!!
And slam into each other, and fall into the net…. Nothing exciting, or inventive, just SLAM, fall. However, they stand up, and MoPed Black Guy starts jumping on the net like a trampoline. The Drifter gets up slowly, and tries to fight him while he is still disoriented. Obviously, he isn’t very effective, fighting this guy that is CLEARLY a circus performer. This fight is one of the best, using the bouncy net effectively, and acrobatics. However, if MoPed Black Guy really is an assassin, he’s not a great one; he has no weapon whatsoever. Just his fists. Unfortunately for him, The Drifter only needs his fists to murder acrobats. He eventually wins.
It's Not All Bad...
Visually, this movie is pretty cool. The bright colors are not usual for a punching dudes movie, and it is a good change of pace for the genre. I didn't notice that much special effects, which either means that they were really well done special effects, or all of it was shot with practical effects. The visual style of this movie is the only saving grace.
The movie that I was sold in the trailer is not the movie that was delivered. What this movie feels like to me is if Quentin Tarantino (a la Kill Bill), Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim), and Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger), had a baby together. And this was that baby's first attempt at making a movie in film school. If that combination intrigues you (like it did me), then I would give it a try. It is not terrible, definitely worth checking out on Netflix Streaming. If only for the fight scenes, and Ron Perlman
Two-And-A-Half Bloody Asian Michael Jackson's out of Five
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