Apr 11, 2014

Review: Tachiguishi retsuden [Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters] (2006)

Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters is one of the weirdest movies I've seen recently. It's part of the Kerberos saga alongside The Red Spectacles, StrayDog: Kerberos Panzer Cops and Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade. Although the story does relate a bit to The Red Spectacles, it's so different from any of the movies in this series.

It plays out as a history of food documentary in Japan but set in the world of the Kerberos saga. You could say it's a mockumentary. Also, it has animated and live action sequences intermixed. It all makes for a really bizarre creation. The animation itself is reminiscent of what you'd see in the Paper Mario video game.

The story is extremely difficult to follow. It's all told by a single narrator who speaks for probably 90% of the movie non-stop. The tone is totally serious despite the humorous intentions which makes for a unique feel. It's hard not to laugh at the ridiculousness of a burger flipper flipping out, trying to make 100 burgers while the narrator is describing the situation in all seriousness. I have to say that I feel like a lot of the humor went right over my head though. As a result, funny bits are few and far between.

The same thing goes for the story because as I said, it is really hard to follow. There were some interesting elements in The Red Spectacles about the banning of stand-up restaurants in Japan, which became a kind of Orwellian society doing its best to impede citizen freedom. So to explore this and even more about food development and service is for sure fascinating. However, I'd be hard pressed to actually tell you anything in regards to these subjects even after seeing Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters. It's a very demanding movie and not one to take lightly.

I can't reiterate just how weird this movie is. As I said, the story is practically impossible to follow unless you have a summary to help you along the way and the humour is almost non-existent. The tone of the narrator coupled with a couple of the scenes is what makes these few scenes funny and I wish there was more of that. It's just not a movie I can recommend though unless you want a slightly amusing encyclopedia based on fictional events thrown at your head.

5.5/10