Fantasia Film Review: Robbery

(Source: Sun Entertainment Culture Ltd)

(Source: Sun Entertainment Culture Ltd)

This one made my day so much better.

The very secretive and sold out Robbery is one crazy motherfucker of a movie. Fire Lee directed and wrote the script to this mind bender that has yet to hit Hong Kong. It’s a magnificent mess full of twists and turns that you will not see coming. I have but one, possibly two nuances with the movie, but otherwise welcome the fact that it just hinges at the verge of dark comedy and violence. It will have you saying, what the hell is coming up next. Blink and the storyline turns right into crazy town. Don’t even think about getting popcorn or hitting the can in the middle of this one because the entire power dynamic changes in the blink of an eye.

When it’s this good, I can’t help but not tell you anything. That being said, movies are like songs. Some are good enough that they’re hits, but there’s always someone that doesn’t like them. So I feel I have to let you know just the setup. Meet Richard Lee. His place is no bigger than a closet. He has been fired. He was just splattered with blood. He’s down on his luck. He finds a job at a convenient store, and then things really start going wrong.

Welcome to Exceed. The convenient store where things always take a turn for the weird, the sexists, the disgusting and let’s not forget the crazy. We get a crazy boss, a old man with a pipe that might or not be a long lost criminal, a corrupt cop with a stomach problem, a sexy woman dressed like a cheerleader, a mob boss and another convenience store owner who might have blown off one of his hands. One of them will hold up the store, another will take hostages and one will try to blow them all up. Those roles might change from one character to the other because not everyone is who you think they are. Ready. Set. Go.

There’s blood, there’s guns, there’s a lot of stabbing. There’s also some moments in which the camera leers a little too much into a female character that is portrayed like a sex object. I understand that the other guy forcing her to dress like that is an asshole. My problem here is that the leering camera makes everyone in the audience a participant. That being said, people are also getting killed and maimed. This won’t be a movie seen by kids anytime soon.

The second problem is that as good as the rest of the storyline was, the ending seems to belong to another movie. It almost changes the genre of the whole film. I can’t give the ending away though. It’s almost a minor thing except that it doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the movie. Yes, I know there was that thing that happened at the beginning – I’m just saying the movie we just saw doesn’t really deserve the ending it got.

It’s a bit of a quandary because besides those two nuances, I really want to recommend this movie to you. It’s good because it’s crazy. It’s bad but it’s entertaining. You can still keep the cheerleader in the film, just don’t have the camera leer like a pervert. You could rework the ending though. Even a fade to black would have been preferable. I’m going to say strongly recommended with reservations that you could rework on the editing room.

Coming next! One last Saturday movie as more badass stuff appears this week.

  • Monday, July 20 – 19:40 – Børning (Concordia Hall Theatre)
  • Tuesday, July 21 – 19:30 – Nowhere Girl (Concordia Hall Theatre)

That will do for now.

(Sources: Fantasia International Film Festival)

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