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  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

French and Japanese animation mavericks concoct an LA-set superhero adventure of sorts that drips with punk-rock attitude.

Based on the comic books of French writer and artist Guillaume ‘Run’ Renard, ‘MFKZ’ (abbreviated from its rather less English poster-appropriate French title ‘Mutafukaz’) blends urban, gang-flavoured grime with surreal anime pizazz to uneven but attention-grabbing effect.

It’s set during a global warming-fuelled heatwave in the crime-ridden Dead Meat City, a graffiti-smothered alternative-world take on Los Angeles, where talking cats and guys with flaming skull heads pound the same, blood-spattered streets as Shakespeare-quoting gangsters and super-powered Mexican wrestlers. Here we meet our hero, Angelino, who with his large, spherical head filled mostly by a huge pair of bug eyes is a Marvin the Martian lookalike. He thinks his life is going nowhere when a bump to his skull causes him to realise tentacled aliens secretly walk among us. Then the trilby-wearing men in black come after him.

It’s co-directed by Renard and Shōjirō Nishimi (‘Batman: Gotham Knight’) with kinetic panache, but ‘MFKZ’ won’t be to everyone’s taste. It has a leering attitude to the few women it depicts, and an often callous revelry in gun violence. But these juvenile missteps are balanced by Renard’s nods to real-life concerns, such as grinding inner-city poverty and governmental neglect of the environment. And as an LSD-spiked stew of ‘Grand Theft Auto’, ‘Do the Right Thing’, ‘Akira’ and ’90s cult TV ’toon ‘Duckman’, with a dubstep soundtrack and English voice performances from the likes of Giancarlo Esposito and Michael Chiklis, it is, at least, never dull.

Written by
Dan Jolin

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Thursday 11 October 2018
  • Duration:94 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Shoujirou Nishimi, Guillaume Renard
  • Screenwriter:Guillaume Renard
  • Cast:
    • Tay Lee
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