Tuesday, August 9, 2016

R100 (2013)

Told entirely in muted colours, R100 is the so-so story of a weird dude (Nao Omori) who hires a bondage company to have random woman assault him over the course of a year.  That's a great idea for a movie and if done seriously it could have turned out awesome.  Instead, things start out slow (and enjoyable) and then around the halfway point everything goes right off the rails.  Complete insanity.  Which is sad because R100 had a lot of potential: great cast, talented director and excellent cinematography by Kazunari Tanaka who shot GOZU.

I'm not saying R100 is a bad film by any means.  It's my own fault for not realizing that this was a Hitoshi Matsumoto joint.  Not that Matsumoto isn't capable of making a non-comedy film, in fact I really enjoyed some of the quiet moments towards the beginning of the film, it's just that all I know about Matsumoto is from his comedy stuff.  He kills me on "Gaki no Tsukai".

Anyway, R100 is an enjoyable film (the scene where the CEO jumped in the swimming pool literally had me crying), it's just not what I had hoped it would be.  In my mind, when I read the description I was thinking of something like the subway scene in SHAME mixed with THE GAME, NORIKO'S DINNER TABLE and BELLE DE JOUR.  Instead I got a bunch of Cato Fong's attacking this dude in such increasingly surreal ways it almost seems like a dream.  Also, why did they all wear leather S&M gear and have appointed attack times?  Wouldn't it would have been better if they dressed like normal women and attacked him by surprise?  Then he would have been really paranoid!

Zero nudity, pointless sub-story about this dude having a family, impressive photography, good acting, quick pace, cannibalism, only two attractive attackers, mildly distracting CGI, meh ending.  Worth a watch for fans of Japanese weirdness, just don't expect a serious film.