R100

My Sundance experience wouldn’t be complete without a foray into the utterly absurd. R100 is complete mayhem. It is deranged, indecipherable at times, and cult classic material if I’ve ever seen it. In the style of a retro Japanese action-thriller, R100 confounds, delights, and leaves you with a feeling of: “what the hell did I just watch?”

The Players:

  • Director & Screenwriter: Hitoshi Matsumoto
  • Cinematographer: Kazunari Tanaka
  • Starring: Nao Ohmori, Lindsay Kay Hayward, Hairi Katagiri

Sundance Synopsis:

Mild-mannered bureaucrat Takafumi Katayama has a secret. He has joined a hidden, mysterious S&M club that specializes in surprising its clients in public and applying sadistic, sexual torture in any place at any time. Then a line is crossed, and an escalating game of vengeance ensues.

The Good:

This movie kept me on my toes from start to finish. It’s astonishingly unpredictable, and just when you think it can’t get any weirder, it goes off the deep end. This is one of those films that is so insane, and so self-aware of its insanity, that it rounds the corner and becomes delightful if you’re willing to go along with it.

The Bad:

Parts of this film were slow.  In fact, I think it could easily have been 20 minutes shorter, which would have helped maintain the momentum. As it was, it lost me a few times. For this genre, I find multiple lingering shots tedious and hard to sit through. If you’re going to do whacky, you gotta keep it moving!

Overall:

People who appreciate absurdest comedy, and who like the other-worldly oddities in Kung Fu Hustle, might like this film. It definitely speaks to a niche audience and is not for everyone. I found myself giggling, confused, impatient, and delighted at different points throughout this film.

Rating: 6.5/10