Spoilers might laugh randomly at the TV.

Mixing action with comedy is a well-known formula for success. However, a little bit of a quirkiness never hurts to make the comedy just a little off-kilter in a movie with a little too many deranged criminals on the loose. That being said, in this movie some jokes will land and others will miss in this yakuza tale of a myth-like assassin determined to lay low and live a regular life.

(Credit: Shochiku Co. Ltd.)

The Fable was directed by Kan Eguchi and written by Yusuke Watanabe, based on the manga by Katsuhisa Minami. A professional hit man (Junichi Okada) and his partner (Fumino Kimura) need to lay low after a high profile killing. Now relocated to Osaka and pretending to be siblings Akira Sato and Yoko Sato, it seems the hard part is over. The problem is Akira Sato has only lived his life as a cold-blooded calculating assassin so his transition is awkward. Regular tasks like getting a job and making friends seem huge undertakings. Soon a sequence of events will cause the yakuza to go on the warpath, threatening his quiet life and his possible relationship with Misaki (Mizuki Yamamoto).

Seeing Akira trying to accomplish regular social tasks is a fertile ground for comedy. There’s also his quirky analytical behaviour that doesn’t fit his new surroundings. He also has this affinity for a bizarre comedy skit that shows up in TV that nobody thinks is funny but him. The comedy is a mix and match, sometimes it has perfect timing and sometimes it’s just a bit cringy, which might just be cultural differences. The action is top notch once it goes into hand-to-hand combat. There’s a beginning sequence in which the filmmakers opted for this superimposed trajectory path lines that are supposed to be pictured by the Fable. The movie later abandons this concept, which I was thankful for them to do. When we get our all-out brawl after a gang war breaks out, the action is a joy to watch.

Strongly recommended with a few reservations. Some of the humour will not land with everyone. I know sometimes I was laughing and other times I was waiting for the movie to carry on. Audiences looking for straight out action comedy might find some parts a little slow. That being said, the action is top notch. Whether or not it is the top action movie of this festival, I won’t say just yet. Fantasia’s jury has named it the best. I will do my own award selection after the festival finishes.

That will do for now.