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One for the boys!
on 21 January 2010
I'm a big fan of Asian cinema - whether it be horror, anime, historical drama, or Bollywood's cheesiest offerings. Survive Style 5 is very hard to categorise though - about the only obvious genre in which to include it is black comedy - and even then I feel as though this doesn't really fully address the surreal or offbeat quality it possesses.
In terms of plot, the film interweaves five separate storylines of a husband who can't get rid of his wife, a businessman who is hypnotised into believing he is a bird, burglars on a job forming an attachment to one another, an irritating ad exec seeing life as one long advert, and a hit man who asks his prey to justify their existence before deciding whether to despatch them. (The latter being Vinnie Jones, who deserves a (dis)honourable mention for his particularly hammy performance).
Visually, the film is impressive, with the same colour saturation and attention to detail seen in offerings like `Dumplings' - I particularly liked the Austin-Powers-meets-Disney-cartoon bedroom of one of the characters. But the storyline and script tread a fine line between wacky, and just downright juvenile, and though the film never quite reaches slapstick mentality, I think it will probably only appeal a youngish male audience, (where I could easily see it achieving cult status).
Overall - an unusual and watchable film - but one that never really becomes very compelling or noteworthy.